Vineyard Wind, the company that plans to build the nation’s first utility-scale offshore wind energy project over 15 miles off the coast of Massachusetts, has selected GE as its preferred supplier of wind turbine generators for its Vineyard Wind 1 project.
The company has also said has decided to temporarily withdraw its Construction and Operations Plan (COP) for the project from further review by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to allow the project team to conduct a final technical review associated with the inclusion of the Haliade-X into the final project design
Vineyard Wind 1 is an 800-megawatt (MW) project located 15 miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard and is slated to become the first large-scale offshore wind farm in the United States. The project will electricity for more than 400,000 homes and businesses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and is expected to reduce carbon emissions by more than 1.6 million tons per year.
Vineyard Wind 1 will be using GE Renewable Energy’s giant Haliade-X wind turbine generators, the most powerful in operation to date. A GE Haliade-X prototype turbine, with 107-meter long blades and a 220-meter rotor, was recently “uprated” to operate at 13 MW capacity.
“The selection of GE as our preferred turbine supplier means that a historic American company will play a vital role in the development of the first commercial-scale offshore wind power in the U.S.,” said Vineyard Wind CEO Lars T. Pedersen.
“This is a huge moment not only for the future of our project, but also for the future of an industry that is poised for exponential growth in the coming decades.”
“GE Renewable Energy is proud to partner with Vineyard Wind for the first major offshore wind project in the US,” said John Lavelle, President & CEO, Offshore Wind at GE Renewable Energy. “To be selected as the preferred supplier is an important sign of confidence for our proven technology and for all our employees around the world. We look forward to making this important contribution to the growth of offshore wind in the US.”
Vineyard Wind had in 2018 selected MHI Vestas Offshore Wind as the wind turbine generator supplier for the project, with 9.5MW turbines selected at the time however, permitting delays have led the preferred supplier agreement with MHI Vestas to lapse, and Vineyard Wind then opted for a more powerful turbine by GE:
Construction and Operations Plan Withdrawn
“As a part of reaching this important milestone, Vineyard Wind has decided to temporarily withdraw its Construction and Operations Plan (COP) from further review by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to allow the project team to conduct a final technical review associated with the inclusion of the Haliade-X into the final project design. This information was formally communicated to BOEM earlier today,” Vineyard Wind said Tuesday.
“While the decision to pause the ongoing process was difficult, taking this step now avoids potentially more federal delays and we are convinced it will provide the shortest overall timeline for delivering the project as planned,” continued Pedersen. “We intend to restart the BOEM process from where we left off as soon as we complete the final review.”
The company expects its review to take several weeks, after which Vineyard Wind will resume the Federal permitting process with BOEM. With buffer built into the project schedule, Vineyard Wind still expects to reach financial close in the second half of 2021 and to begin delivering clean energy to Massachusetts in 2023, the company said.
AWEA: Exciting step for American offshore wind
Commenting on Vineyard Wind’s selection of GE’s Haliade-X 13MW wind turbines to power the Vineyard Wind 1 farm, the American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) CEO Tom Kiernan said: “Today’s announcement from Vineyard Wind and GE Renewable Energy is an exciting step forward for American offshore wind energy, putting the domestic clean power industry on the cutting edge of global wind power development.
“Wind power technology and innovation continue to rapidly progress, allowing the U.S. to generate more clean, reliable electricity at a lower cost. This collaboration takes the country closer to realizing a once in a generation opportunity that will advance the clean power industry and jumpstart job creation and economic investment along the East Coast.”