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Vineyard Wind Reaches Milestone as Largest Operating US Offshore Wind Farm

offshore wind farm
Vineyard Wind reports progress as it reaches the milestone becoming the largest operating offshore wind farm in the U.S. (Avangrid)

Published Jun 25, 2024 5:50 PM by The Maritime Executive

 

The Vineyard Wind 1 project passed a key milestone today becoming the largest operating offshore wind farm in the United States. Being developed off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, project developers Avangrid and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners celebrated reaching 136 MW on their way to a total capacity of 806 MW.

With 10 of the planned 62 wind turbines now in operation, Vineyard Wind 1 is now delivering more than 136 MW to the electric grid in Massachusetts. It surpasses Ørsted’s South Fork which was completed earlier this year and has a capacity for 132 MW from 12 turbines. These two projects were the first large-scale offshore wind farms to begin construction in the United States, although they will ultimately be surpassed by others including Dominion Energy’s project off the coast of Virginia which started construction in April 2024.

The companies are highlighting that Vineyard Wind 1 currently has installed 47 foundations and transition pieces and 21 turbines, with the installation of the 22nd turbine underway. Unconfirmed reports in the local media asserted that the project has encountered unanticipated challenges and weather in the installation process slowing its progress.

Located 15 miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, Vineyard Wind began offshore construction in late 2022, achieved steel-in-the-water in June 2023, and completed the nation’s first offshore substation in July 2023. Construction flows through the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal.

The project marked its first power delivered to the grid on January 2, when Vineyard Wind delivered approximately five megawatts of power from one turbine to the grid. Following that milestone, the project provided power from each of the first five turbines intermittently, as it ramped up to initial operations, which it achieved in February when the project began delivering approximately 68 MW from five turbines to the grid. At the time, they said that nine turbines had been installed and the process of installing the 10th was underway. 

Building on the 136 NW currently being delivered, they report additional power will be delivered to the grid sequentially, with each turbine starting production once it completes the commissioning process.

Vineyard Offshore, the JV operator for the project in March 2024 reported it had submitted a proposal for a 1,200 MW offshore wind project to Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island in response to the New England states’ solicitation for up to 6,800 MW of offshore wind capacity. The project, which would be located 29 miles south of Nantucket would be Vineyard Wind 2 with a project operational date of 2031.

The zone south on Martha’s Vineyard and stretching west toward Rhode Island and Connecticut and south to the eastern tip of Long Island is the U.S.’s first cluster for offshore wind. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has moved forward with the approvals for additional projects in the zone and ultimately it will host approximately 10 large commercial wind farms.