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What’s Going On With Offshore Wind Projects In New England

The offshore wind market in North America has attracted global developers and equity partners as state and federal policies finally align to encourage investment in domestic clean energy.

But at the same time, developers face challenges as inflation, supply chain bottlenecks, the high cost of materials, competition for vessels and ports, and workforce shortages threaten to slow progress.

With news from the industry shifting on a regular basis, it can be hard to keep track of the projects, the players, and the issues. Don’t worry. Here’s a cheat sheet.

What are some of the major projects planned off the coast of southern New England?

  • Commonwealth Wind is proposed by Avangrid Renewables, a division of the Spanish multinational Iberdrola. The 1,232-megawatt project would serve Massachusetts and be staged from the Salem Wind Terminal, site of a former coal plant.
  • Park City Wind is proposed by Avangrid Renewables. It has contracted to provide 804 megawatts of capacity to Connecticut. The project would be staged from Salem, Massachusetts. The offshore wind port is being developed by Crowley Maritime, with its administrative office in Providence.
  • Revolution Wind I is proposed by Ørsted (the former Danish Oil and Natural Gas) and the New England-based Eversource Energy. The project has utility contracts in place to provide 400 megawatts of capacity to Rhode Island and 300 megawatts to Connecticut.
  • Revolution Wind II is proposed by Ørsted and Eversource. The 884-megawatt project could serve Rhode Island if it gains a utility contract. Ørsted plans to stage all of its New England projects from the Connecticut State Pier in New London.
    South Coast Wind I, headquartered in Fall River, was formerly known as Mayflower Wind. It’s a project of Shell and Ocean Winds, itself a joint venture of EDP Renewables and ENGIE, a French multinational. The 1,200-megawatt project aims to serve Massachusetts.
  • Vineyard Wind, a 50-50 project of Avangrid and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, is now under construction and being staged from the Port of New Bedford. The 800-megawatt project (first developed by Erich Stevens) has Massachusetts utility contracts in place to finance construction.
  • South Fork Wind, an Ørsted/Eversource project, is now under construction with plans to devote 132 megawatts of capacity to Long Island. The same developers are behind Sunrise Wind, a 924 MW project on track to deliver energy to New York in late 2025.
  • Ørsted and Eversource also own the small, five-turbine 30-megawatt Block Island Wind Farm, an asset they procured from Jeff Grybowski, the Providence-based founder of Deepwater Wind, a company he sold to Ørsted. His Block Island project went live in 2016 as the nation’s first commercial offshore wind farm.

And in case anybody asks, the infamous Cape Wind is long dead. After a 16-year struggle, developers pulled the plug on the Nantucket Sound project in 2017.

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