Associated Industries of Massachusetts today applauded the competitive process that led to the selection of Vineyard Wind to begin developing a wind farm off Martha’s Vineyard that will power the equivalent of 750,000 homes each year.
The selection of Vineyard Wind, a joint venture between of Avangrid Renewables and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, follows an intensive bidding process conducted under the 2016 Act to Promote Energy Diversity. AIM supported the competitive elements of that bill as a means to get the best deal possible for ratepayers as the commonwealth moves to renewable sources of electricity.
Vineyard Wind, an AIM member, will now begin negotiations to secure the necessary transmission services and power purchase agreements to facilitate the delivery of offshore wind electricity to Massachusetts customers. Once satisfactory contract terms are secured, those documents will be submitted to the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities for formal review.
AIM expects to represent the interests of employers in that review.
No figures were released yesterday about what the power produced by the Vineyard Wind development will cost.
“AIM supports competition as the best way to moderate energy costs in Massachusetts and that idea was clearly born out by the spirited race to build the nation’s first large-scale wind farm,” said Richard C. Lord, President and Chief Executive Officer.
The 2016 energy bill required the state’s electric distribution companies to procure 1,600 megawatts offshore wind energy within the next decade, resulting in intense competition among offshore wind lease holders for long-term contracts with utilities in Massachusetts.
Vineyard Wind says its project will “support hundreds of operations and maintenance jobs and create thousands of construction jobs.”
“Vineyard Wind is proud to be selected to lead the new Massachusetts offshore wind industry into the future,” said Lars Thaaning Pedersen, CEO of Vineyard Wind. “Today’s announcement reflects the strong commitment to clean energy by Governor Baker and the Massachusetts Legislature.”
Vineyard Wind expects to begin construction in 2019 and become operational by 2021. When completed, the will reduce Massachusetts’ carbon emissions by over 1.6 million tons per year, the equivalent of removing 325,000 cars from state roads.
The proposal also commits $10 million to a Wind Accelerator Fund to accelerate the development of an offshore wind supply chain, businesses, and infrastructure in the Bay State by attracting investments to upgrade or create necessary facilities and/or infrastructure.
It also creates a $2 million Windward Workforce program to recruit, mentor, and train residents of Massachusetts, particularly southeast Massachusetts, Cape Cod and the Islands, for careers in the commonwealth’s new offshore wind industry.
Separately, a second AIM member, Deepwater Wind, was selected yesterday to develop 400 megawatts of offshore wind to serve Rhode Island.