Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Issues Final Environmental Impact Statement for Avangrid’s New England Wind Lease Area

Avangrid, Inc. (NYSE: AGR), a leading sustainable energy company and member of the Iberdrola Group, today announced that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has issued the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for its New England Wind lease area. The FEIS represents a significant permitting milestone that brings the project closer to full federal approval, with a Record of Decision (ROD) anticipated in April 2024 and Construction and Operations Plan (COP) Approval anticipated in July 2024. BOEM’s efforts in developing the FEIS included robust stakeholder engagement with Tribal Nations, members of local residential and fishing communities, and other ocean users. The New England Wind lease area has the potential to provide approximately 2 Gigawatts to the region, enough clean, reliable energy to power nearly 1 million homes and businesses.

“Avangrid is grateful to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management for its comprehensive environmental review of the New England Wind lease area – which has the potential to deliver approximately 2 Gigawatts of clean, reliable energy, power nearly 1 million households, and advance the region’s ambitious climate goals. Avangrid is pleased that the Final Environmental Impact Statement identified the benefits of the project in a clear and consistent manner, marking a pivotal step toward bringing this power to the New England region,” said Avangrid CEO Pedro Azagra. “Just last week, Avangrid announced a landmark accomplishment by powering up the first five Vineyard Wind 1 turbines, and as we continue to build on the 68 Megawatts of power we are currently delivering to Massachusetts, we are pleased to achieve another milestone marking the strong forward momentum of our nation-leading offshore wind portfolio.”

The FEIS finalizes BOEM’s analysis of potential environmental impacts of the project’s construction, operation, and conceptual decommissioning plans. Stakeholder engagement for this critical environmental review included three virtual public meetings hosted by BOEM to solicit additional feedback on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement published in late December 2023 and consideration of over 750 comments received from the public. The full document is available on BOEM’s website.

“NECEC applauds the completion of BOEM's environmental review of Avangrid’s New England Wind project. This milestone represents a significant step forward in advancing renewable energy development in our region. As a leading advocate for clean energy initiatives, NECEC firmly supports expanding offshore wind projects as a critical component of our transition to a sustainable energy future,” said Joe Curtatone, President of the Northeast Clean Energy Council. “Offshore wind holds immense potential to diversify our energy sources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create high-quality jobs in the clean energy sector. By harnessing wind power off our coastlines, we can unlock new economic opportunities, strengthen energy security, and mitigate the impacts of climate change.”

"The responsible development of offshore wind energy projects like New England Wind provides an unrivaled opportunity to combat climate change while equitably advancing family-sustaining union jobs, economic development, community benefits, and environmental protection," said Kelt Wilska, Offshore Wind Director, Environmental League of Massachusetts, and Regional Lead for New England for Offshore Wind. "We appreciate the timely release of the New England Wind Final Environmental Impact Statement as a critical component to standing up this game-changing clean energy solution in an efficient and responsible manner and keeping states on track to meet decarbonization goals."

“Completing the New England Wind environmental review is a big step toward reducing the region’s reliance on fossil fuels and building a green, just economy," said Sierra Club Massachusetts Director Vick Mohanka. “Responsible offshore wind development requires carefully evaluating and mitigating potentially adverse impacts. We look forward to seeing Park City Wind and Commonwealth Wind continue to protect critical interests and deliver benefits to host communities, tribes, workers, consumers, and the environment."

Development of the New England Wind lease area 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 February 2024, Avangrid announced that it has powered up the first five GE Haliade-X turbines for the nation-leading Vineyard Wind 1 project, delivering clean energy to 30,000 homes and businesses in Massachusetts. Vineyard Wind 1, the first large-scale offshore wind project in the United States, is currently providing approximately 68 Megawatts to the New England grid, delivering a steady stream of clean energy that will help the region meet winter electricity demand. The first large-scale offshore wind project in the United States, Vineyard Wind 1 will be the largest renewable energy facility in New England once fully operational, delivering 806 Megawatts – enough clean electricity to power 400,000 homes and businesses in the Commonwealth.

Vineyard Wind began offshore construction in late 2022, achieved steel-in-the-water in June, and completed the nation’s first offshore substation in July. Construction flows through the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal. In July 2021, Vineyard Wind signed the first Project Labor Agreement for an offshore wind project in the United States, which outlined the creation of 500 union jobs through the project. In December 2023, project shareholders announced that Vineyard Wind 1 has delivered nearly double of its commitment through the PLA by creating 937 union jobs through two years of construction.

An 806-megawatt project located 15 miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, Vineyard Wind will generate electricity for more than 400,000 homes and businesses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, create 3,600 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) job years, save customers $1.4 billion over the first 20 years of operation, and is expected to reduce carbon emissions by more than 1.6 million metric tons per year, the equivalent of taking 325,000 cars off the road annually.

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