Spanish renewable energy company Iberdrola said this week it was making progress in the construction of Vineyard Wind I, the largest commercial-scale offshore wind farm in the United States, with the receipt of the first shipment of components for the 62 wind turbines that will make up the farm at the port of New Bedford.
Specifically, the shipment consisted of the tower sections, manufactured in Portugal. The components arrived in the U.S. aboard the heavy load carrier UHL Felicity.
The towers – the base of the turbine that sits on top of the yellow transition piece – will arrive in three sections.
Once onshore, they will be installed at the port before being partially assembled and loaded onto a specialized barge that will transport the parts to the wind farm site from the summer.
According to Iberdrola, the assembly of the wind turbines in New Bedford alone will create 100 jobs.
Once the project, located 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard and 34 miles south of the Cape Cod peninsula, completes construction and comes online, it will have an output of 800 MW, producing enough electricity to power more than 400,000 households and businesses across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The project will, according to Iberdrola, also prevent the emission of more than 1.6 million tons of CO2 per year, the equivalent of removing 325,000 vehicles from the road.
The Vineyard Wind I project, which began construction in 2021 and is expected to be operational in 2024, will involve an investment of $3 billion, secured through contracts with the state’s three major utilities.
Per Iberdrola, Vineyard WInd I will contribute to the creation of 3,600 full-time equivalent jobs. These include those generated at the Spanish company Windar Renovables, one of the project’s main suppliers.
Last month, the Asturian company shipped the first six transition parts from Avilés. The contract, worth around €100 million, will provide the wind farm with 62 transition parts, which are creating around 400 jobs (500 at peak times) at its facilities in Asturias. The wind farm will also have 62 turbines, each as tall as the Torre de Cristal, the tallest skyscraper in Spain and the fourth tallest in the European Union, with blades the length of a football pitch.
The wind turbine generators, model Haliade-X and manufactured by General Electric, have up to 13 megawatts of power, and are the most powerful to date.
Each can save 52,000 tonnes of CO2 per year and in a single rotation – of 38,000 m2 – can generate the energy needed for a household for more than two days.
Iberdrola, through Avangrid Renewables, is participating in the development of the wind farm together with Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) through a 50/50 joint venture. Once construction of the wind farm is completed and commercial operation begins, Iberdrola will take the lead in the operation phase of the project and assume responsibility for controlling the operation and management of the facility.