Five Vineyard Wind 1 Turbines Deliver Power to New England Grid

Wind turbine at the Vineyard 1 project off the coast of Massachusetts

(Credit: Avangrid)

by | Feb 23, 2024

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Avangrid has commenced operation of five of its Haliade-X wind turbines at the Vineyard Wind 1 project off the coast of Massachusetts.

Vineyard Wind 1 first successfully delivered power from one of its turbines to the New England grid this past January, and the project is now able to deliver clean energy to over 30,000 homes and businesses in Massachusetts. The project is the first offshore wind farm in the United States and will be the largest renewable energy facility in all of New England once fully operational — once complete, it will reportedly be able to deliver 806 megawatts of energy, or enough electricity to power 400,000 homes.

This event marks a significant milestone as the Vineyard Wind project met delays in its construction and had originally planned to be operational by the end of 2023, according to a Boston Herald report.

“Every milestone we achieve on Vineyard Wind 1 is special, but powering up these first turbines stands apart as an exceptional achievement for Avangrid, Massachusetts, and the nation,” said Pedro Azagra, CEO of Avangrid. “Each rotation of the blades, and every megawatt flowing to homes across Massachusetts, is a testament to the years of perseverance and partnership that have defined this trailblazing project.”

The project has now successfully installed nine turbines and is currently working on adding a 10th. Each turbine will begin operation intermittently as they are installed and complete the commissioning process, according to Avangrid. The final project will contain 62 wind turbines.

Wind Energy May Help Meet Peak Energy Demand During Winter

Avangrisaid that offshore wind development will support the New England grid amidst its typical peak energy demand in the winter months. According to a study done by ISO New England, 800 MW of offshore wind energy during the region’s two-week cold snap would have saved utility customers $40 million to $45 million. Such levels of wind energy also would have helped avoid 108,000 tons of carbon emissions, the equivalent of 5% of the region’s annual emissions footprint.

Providing clean energy during instances of peak demand may help avoid reliance on “peaker plants,” or fossil fuel-based power plants that quickly deliver power to the grid and cause especially harmful emissions to communities surrounding them. Offshore wind, among other renewables, has already helped narrow the length of time that peaker plants need to run.

New renewable energy projects have also focused more heavily on including battery storage to better meet peak demand with emissions-free energy.

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