Governor Maura Healey, House Speaker Ronald Mariano On Guest List For Vineyard Wind Ribbon-Cutting In New Bedford

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Governor Maura Healey and Massachusetts House Speaker Ronald Mariano (D-Quincy) are among the dignitaries invited to celebrate a “Forever First” ribbon cutting for the Vineyard Wind offshore wind project Friday, September 15 in New Bedford, the company said Tuesday morning, using a phrase that suggests it wants to cement its status as the first utility-scale offshore wind farm in the United States.

The Avangrid and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners joint venture said the ribbon-cutting guest list includes the governor, speaker, U.S. Senators. Elizabeth Warren (D-Cambridge), U.S. Senator Ed Markey (D-Malden), White House national climate advisor Ali Zaidi, its own chief executive officer Klaus Moeller, New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell, and Frank Callahan of the MA Building Trades. The ribbon is scheduled to be cut during a 10 a.m. event at the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal — not the actual project site about 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard.

The first clean wind power generated by the Vineyard Wind 1 project is expected to flow onto the regional grid by mid-October 2023. Initially, the project will send power generated by a string of six turbines onto the grid, totaling about 78 megawatts, with plans to ramp the project up to between 200 and 300 megawatts by the end of the year and full commercial operations of 806 megawatts expected by mid-2024, Avangrid’s chief operating officer for offshore wind said in August.

Once it is fully operational, state and company officials say, Vineyard Wind 1 is projected to generate cleaner electricity for more than 400,000 homes and businesses in Massachusetts, produce at least 3,600 jobs, reduce costs for Massachusetts ratepayers by an estimated $1.4 billion over 20 years, and eliminate 1.68 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

As Vineyard Wind looks to defend its long-held distinction as a first-in-the-nation project, another project is nipping at its heels. South Fork Wind, a joint venture of Orstead and Eversource, is constructing a smaller project for New York in nearby waters and also expects to deliver power by the end of this year.

Vineyard Wind 1 is the only project Massachusetts has firmly in its offshore wind pipeline, despite making significant moves to procure the cleaner energy generation since 2016. State officials have approved projects totaling 3,200 megawatts of capacity (Vineyard Wind is 800 megawatts of that), but developers behind subsequent wind farms said that shifting economic conditions made their projects no longer financially viable at the prices they previously negotiated and have either secured or are seeking approval to terminate the contracts they signed.


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