The US’ flagship offshore wind farm, Vineyard Wind 1, added to its growing list of US-based suppliers with the signing of contracts for construction and operations with Maine-based Ironhouse and Houston's Everline.
The 800MW project, being developed by a partnership between Denmark’s Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) and Avangrid, majority-owned by Spanish utility Iberdrola, is the first American project to be fully permitted and enter construction, and has already signed contracts with domestic firms stretching from the states of Georgia and West Virginia and on throughout the US.
“As we build the nation’s first offshore wind farm, we are proud to engage an ever-increasing amount of the US workforce in each step of the process,” said Vineyard Wind CEO Klaus Moeller.
“Vineyard Wind 1 is only the beginning. With each project, we will take a giant leap forward in building out this new industry, creating thousands of good-paying jobs and reducing the harmful effects of carbon pollution.”
Everline, a leading provider of energy compliance, technical and security solutions, will supply Vineyard Wind 1 with full supervisory control and data acquisition (Scada) integration for the 62 wind turbines.
The system that will connect the wind farm’s offshore substation, onshore substation, wind turbines and offices, and Everline will handle all procurement, logistics, and software integration.
Woodrow Boles, Everline’s director of renewables, said: “This highly sophisticated renewable energy asset [Vineyard Wind 1] requires an equally sophisticated and comprehensive Scada system to support it while protecting resources and investments efficiently.”
Maine’s Ironhouse will deploy its expertise for commissioning oversight for onshore substation, wind turbine foundations, interarray cables, wind turbine generators, and the Scada system.
Brian Langlais, president of Ironhouse, said: “As a company located in central Maine, we are proud to be able to support this project and provide unique and exciting career opportunities here in the north-eastern part of the US.”
The contracts point to the massive potential for capacity investment and activity throughout the US even as the industry remains concentrated in its northeast heartland. The American Clean Power Association forecasts that meeting the Biden administration’s target of 30GW of offshore wind in US waters by 2030 will generate some $120bn in supply chain investment that will span the nation.
The opportunity is being turbocharged by the recently signed Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which provides nearly $370bn towards clean energy investment aimed at the transformation of the US industrial sector, including generous investment investment and production tax credits for renewable energy manufacturing.
Already, steel mills in West Virginia, cable makers in South Carolina, and shipyards in Texas and Louisiana are ramping up investment to meet the coming offshore wind boom, with nearly 20GW of capacity slated for approval in 2023 alone.
Vineyard Wind, located 15 miles (24km) off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, will generate electricity for more than 400,000 homes and businesses while creating the equivalent of 3,600 jobs and reduce carbon emissions by more than 1.6 million tons per year.
Onshore construction has already begun and will move offshore next spring, with the array expected to be partially commissioned and begin delivering power by the end of 2023, with full offshore installation and commissioning in 2024.