Avangrid & Copenhagen Announce Transaction to Advance Offshore Wind Development

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 9/21/2021, Location: North America

- The parties’ will restructure their 50/50 joint venture which owns several U.S. offshore wind projects with a combined capacity of 5.3 GW for each party to focus on its further expansion within US offshore wind
- Vineyard Wind 1 to remain a 50/50 joint venture between the parties
- Lease Area OCS-A 534 containing Park City Wind and Commonwealth Wind to be owned by Avangrid Renewables; Lease Area OCS-A 522 to be owned by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners
- Restructuring will enable efficient development of future offshore wind projects

Avangrid Renewables, a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc., and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), announced a restructuring of their Vineyard Wind joint venture which will enable both companies to leverage their strengths and expertise to continue to grow the U.S. offshore wind industry.

The Vineyard Wind joint venture, which pioneered offshore wind in the United States, has successfully built a portfolio that includes Vineyard Wind 1, the first commercial scale offshore wind project in U.S. waters. Vineyard Wind 1, an 800-megawatt (MW) project that will deliver clean energy to Massachusetts beginning in 2023, reached financial close last week and is beginning construction this month.

Vineyard Wind 1 will continue to be developed as a 50/50 joint venture between the partners and Avangrid Renewables will have an option to gain operational control once the project reaches commercial operation. Avangrid Renewables will take full ownership of lease area OCS-A 0534 which includes Park City Wind, an 804 MW project which will deliver clean energy to Connecticut, and Commonwealth Wind, which last week submitted a bid for up to 1,200 MW to the third Massachusetts offshore wind competitive solicitation.

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners will take full ownership of lease area OCS-A 0522, the easternmost offshore wind area, which has the potential to deliver over 2,500 MW of clean energy into New England and New York.

“Along with Avangrid Renewables, we have during the previous week achieved the most important milestone for offshore wind in the U.S., and with our partner are excited to lead Vineyard Wind 1 through the construction phase and complete this trailblazing project,” said Christian T. Skakkebæk, Senior Partner in CIP. “Lease area 522 has the highest wind speed of any lease area in the northeast and will be a very competitive site for solicitations from New York to Massachusetts. Continuing to operate with our core leadership team and local staff in place, we can build on the strong relationships and early engagement with all stakeholders that has always been at the core of our development philosophy as we move forward.”

“We are proud of the extraordinary accomplishments achieved in partnership with CIP, including the first commercial-scale offshore wind farm in the United States,” said Dennis V. Arriola, CEO of AVANGRID. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with CIP for Vineyard Wind 1 as well as leading Park City Wind and Commonwealth Wind to deliver economic opportunity and clean energy to New England. This restructuring is aligned with our long-term growth strategy and our aspiration to be the leading sustainable energy company in the U.S.”

Once the restructuring is finalized, Avangrid Renewables will make a net payment of $167.5 million in order to acquire 100% of OCS-A 534 containing Park City Wind and Commonwealth Wind. In exchange, CIP will acquire 100% of OCS-A 522. The transaction is subject to consents from key stakeholders and regulators, which include the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) as well as the Connecticut electric distribution companies. The transaction is expected to close in approximately six months during which the parties have agreed on a transition plan.

CIP is a first mover in the U.S. offshore wind industry, entering the market in 2016. CIP will, through its Copenhagen Infrastructure II K/S and Copenhagen Infrastructure III K/S, continue leading the offshore wind industry by co-leading the construction of the first commercial scale offshore wind project in the U.S., Vineyard Wind 1 of 800 MW. At the same time, CIP will, through its Copenhagen Infrastructure IV K/S, focus on developing OCS-A 522, highlighting CIP’s continued strong interest and presence in the U.S. offshore wind market.

Avangrid Renewables is a leading U.S. clean energy developer with a strong track record of owning and operating renewable energy assets with an experienced, U.S. based, offshore wind team. The company further benefits from the backing of Iberdrola, a major European offshore wind developer and an 81.5% shareholder of AVANGRID.

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