Biden Administration gives the first green light to Iberdrola for New England Wind projects

  • The company's new offshore wind farm in the United States could collectively provide up to 2 Gigawatts of clean, reliable installed capacity to Massachusetts.
  • It will create up to 9,200 full-time jobs during all phases of the project and bring $8 billion in direct investment to the region.
  • This new farm will reduce almost 4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, equivalent to taking around 700,000 cars off the road each year over the lifespan of the project.
  • In March, Iberdrola submitted several proposals for offshore wind energy in Massachusetts-Rhode Island-Connecticut.

Iberdrola, through its US subsidiary Avangrid, received first approval from Biden Administration for its New England offshore wind farm. The Federal Record of Decision (ROD) together with the Construction and Operations Plan Approval (COP), expected in 2024, represent an important permitting milestone for the construction of the future farm.

On February 26, 2024, New England Wind received the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). ROD approval has been issued by the Department of Interior after years of intensive engagement with members of the local residential and fishing communities and other stakeholders. Construction and Operations Plan (COP) Approval is expected in July 2024.

The New England Wind project, consisting of New England Wind 1 and New England Wind 2, has the potential to create thousands of jobs and provide approximately 2 Gigawatts of clean, reliable energy – enough to power nearly 1 million homes and businesses in the region. It is projected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 4 million US tons, or the equivalent of taking approximately 700,000 cars off the road each year during the lifespan of the project. In total it will create up to 9,200 full-time skilled jobs and bring $8 billion in direct investment to the region.

In addition, the project also offers opportunities for economic growth and industrial attraction in the area, such as an assembly centre, an offshore wind training centre, a new offshore crane factory, operations and maintenance facilities in Bridgeport, Connecticut and New Bedford, among others. 

New England Wind 1 is exceptionally advanced for commissioning and offers extraordinary security and viability. In fact, it is the most advanced and ready offshore wind opportunity in the Northeast region. 

If selected, the project, which would be located about 50 kilometres south of Barnstable, Massachusetts, could begin construction in 2025 and be in commercial operation before the end of the decade, contributing to the New England state's ambitious 2030 climate goals. 

Leading developer of offshore wind

The United States is Iberdrola's main investment focus within its 2024-2026 strategic plan, to which it will allocate €41 billion. The country will receive 35% of the investment, around €14.35 billion.

Electricity grids will be the main segment of investments. Around €21.5 billion will be dedicated mainly to extending and reinforcing grids. In renewables, Iberdrola plans to invest €15.5 billion gross in the coming years, of which more than half will focus on offshore wind, totalling 3,000 MW, in the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany

Iberdrola is the leading developer of offshore wind energy in the United States. On 27 March 2024, it submitted numerous proposals for new offshore wind energy in Massachusetts-Rhode Island-Connecticut. The states are expected to announce the selected projects in August 2024. 

The company currently has the Vineyard Wind I farm under construction. With 806 MW of capacity, it is the first commercial-scale offshore wind farm in the country and will supply clean, reliable power to 400,000 homes and businesses in Massachusetts. This is equivalent to more than half the size of a city like Boston or the entire island of Palma de Mallorca.

In February, the energy company announced the commissioning of the first five turbines that will supply 30,000 homes and businesses in Massachusetts with clean energy

In addition to Vineyard Wind I, the company's most important offshore wind projects include the East Anglia Hub complex in the United Kingdom, which consist of three projects with a total installed capacity of 2,900 MW; Saint-Brieuc in France, and its three wind farms in Baltic waters: Wikinger, Baltic Eagle and Windanker