By John Echols, Renewable Energy World content director
Vineyard Wind, the 800-megawatt project offshore Massachusetts, has closed on $2.3 billion of senior debt financing, setting the stage for construction to begin.
The joint venture between Avangrid Renewables and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners is one of the single largest investments in a renewable energy project in the U.S. This marks the first financial close of a commercial-scale offshore wind project in the U.S.
“Achieving financial close is the most important of all milestones because today we finally move from talking about offshore wind to delivering offshore wind at scale in the U.S.,” said Vineyard Wind CEO Lars T. Pedersen. “With the signing of these agreements, we now have everything in place to start construction, launching an industry that will immediately start to create jobs and make a significant contribution to meet Massachusetts’ carbon pollution reduction targets.”
Vineyard Wind will issue notices to proceed for its contractors in the coming days and weeks, the company said. Onshore work begins this fall in Barnstable, Massachusetts, with offshore work commencing in 2022.
Located 15 miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, Vineyard Wind is expected to begin delivering power to the grid in 2023. The offshore wind farm will generate electricity for more than 400,000 homes and businesses in Massachusetts and is expected to reduce carbon emissions by more than 1.6 million tons per year.
Vineyard Wind 1 will use 62 of GE’s Haliade-X wind turbine generators, which the company says is the most powerful in operation to date. With this selection, GE Renewable Energy is poised to play a pivotal role in the development of offshore wind power in the U.S., which will be a major source of investments and job creation up and down the supply chain in communities across the region.
Nine investment banks provided senior debt financing for the project. These include Bank of America, J.P. Morgan, BBVA, NatWest, Santander, Crédit Agricole, Natixis, BNP Paribas and MUFG Bank.