New Bedford’s $2.3 Billion Vineyard Wind Project Fully Funded
NEW BEDFORD — The $2.3 billion Vineyard Wind project off the Nantucket coast can officially begin, as the company announced the project's financial close today.
Vineyard Wind 1 is slated to be the first commercial scale offshore wind farm in the U.S.
The project has hit some headwinds, after a coalition of fishing industry professionals filed a federal lawsuit Monday asking for a court review of the project's approval by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management earlier this year.
But according to a release from the company, now that the project is fully funded, Vineyard Wind is able to give its contractors a notice to proceed.
This allows suppliers to start hiring, training and mobilizing people to prepare for both on and offshore construction.
Onshore work is set to begin this fall in Barnstable, with offshore work starting in 2022, the release stated.
The first power from Vineyard Wind 1 will be delivered to the grid in 2023.
According to the company, the planned offshore wind farm represents one of the largest investments in a single renewable energy project in the country.
The project is a joint venture between Avangrid Renewables, a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR), and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners.
Financing for construction comes from $2.3 billion of senior debt raised via nine international and U.S.-based banks, the company noted.
“There have been many milestones passed over the last several months, from securing the final federal permits to signing the U.S.’s first offshore wind project labor agreement,” said Vineyard Wind CEO Lars Pedersen.
“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."
Pederson went on to note that the company now has everything in place to kick off construction, "launching an industry that will immediately start to create jobs and make a significant contribution to meet Massachusetts’ carbon pollution reduction targets."
“We are proud to pioneer this new industry and demonstrate that offshore wind can be a sound investment, while creating jobs, combating climate change and powering the economies of our coastal communities," said Dennis Arriola, CEO of AVANGRID.
Advised by Santander, the nearly $2.3 billion of senior debt also includes investments from nine banks, including Bank of America, J.P. Morgan, BBVA, NatWest, Santander, Crédit Agricole, Natixis, BNP Paribas and MUFG Bank.
Vineyard Wind 1 is an 800 MW project located 15 miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard.