Avangrid Renewables named former EnBW executive Bill White as its new head of US offshore wind operations, as the Iberdrola-controlled developer set out its stall as a leader in a sector set for explosive growth along the Atlantic coast this decade and beyond.
White will lead Avangrid’s offshore wind strategy in the US, which includes ownership in three high-profile projects in New England and North Carolina, and likely participation in future state tenders.
Prior to joining Avangrid Renewables, White was chief executive of EnBW North America, the US offshore wind subsidiary of the German utility. In 2018, it formed a joint venture with US start-up Trident Winds called Castle Wind to build an up-to-1GW floating wind farm at Morro Bay, but offshore wind's future there is uncertain due to siting and other issues.
White also played a key role in helping plan policy for offshore wind development in Massachusetts last decade as a senior official at the state’s Clean Energy Center.
Avangrid Renewables is 50-50 joint venture partner with Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) in Vineyard Wind, whose contracted 800MW project off the southern coast of Massachusetts appears set to finally gain federal approval later this quarter after 16 months of additional environmental reviews, which will usher in a new era of large-scale US offshore wind development.
Last year, Vineyard’s 804MW Park City project won a competitive solicitation in Connecticut. The project will supply about 14% of the state’s electric power and is scheduled for 2025 commercial start – assuming there are no federal permitting delays.
In July, Avangrid Renewables revealed that it is in discussions with CIP to increase its ownership stake in Park City, shortly after Dennis Victor Arriola became chief executive at parent Avangrid. Arriola is bullish on US offshore wind as an investment play.
Avangrid Renewables is also the full owner of the 2.4GW Kitty Hawk development off the coast of North Carolina which it plans to develop in three 800MW stages later this decade in a zone it paid $9m in 2017 to lease. The project is the nation’s second largest after Dominion’s 2.64GW Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW).
“Throughout his career, Bill has helped lay the foundation for the U.S. offshore wind industry. His experience, expertise and relationships will further strengthen Avangrid Renewables’ position as an industry leader,” said Alejandro de Hoz, chief executive of Avangrid Renewbles.
Separately, Avangrid announced that Sy Oytan will become deputy chief executive of Vineyard Wind and will join White’s team. Oytan will oversee business management, finance, development and delivery for the Vineyard Wind and Park City projects.
He previously was with multinational engineering firm Arup, where he led offshore wind development efforts for the multinational engineering firm. Both White and Oytan will be based in Boston.