Labor deal forged for Vineyard Wind 1

Vineyard Wind and the Massachsetts Building Trades Council forged an agreement July 16. -Courtesy Lauren Owens Lambert

In a ceremony on July 16, Vineyard Wind signed a labor agreement with the Southeastern Massachusetts Building Trades Council to erect America’s first industrial scale offshore wind farm. 

The wind farm will feature 62 GE Haliade-X turbines, and is expected to have an overall cost of approximately $2 billion. The 62 turbines will produce 800 megawatts of electricity. That electricity will be sent through two export cables buried under the Atlantic seafloor. The cables will pass through the Muskeget Channel, about a mile off Chappaquiddick, and stretch across Nantucket Sound to a landfall at Barnstable, where they will send electricity into the grid.  

Approximately 500 “family-sustaining union jobs” will be created by means of the new agreement, according to a press release. 

“The signing of this [project labor agreement] is the culmination of our long-standing promise to the working people of Massachusetts,” Vineyard Wind CEO Lars Pedersen said through a release.  “We now have an agreement in place that will make sure local residents on the South Coast, Cape and Islands, can reap the greatest possible benefit from this new and growing industry. And beyond that, it’s a commitment to make sure we have a diversified workforce that represents the communities where we work, so that we can open the doors of opportunity as wide as possible.”

Massachusetts Building Council President Frank Callahan was equally effusive. 

“The signing of this project labor agreement sets the standard for offshore wind and other renewable energy projects across our country. We can build back better with renewable energy and create union jobs at the same time,” said Callahan through a release.  “The men and women of North America’s Building Trades Unions are the best trained, most highly skilled, and most productive workforce in the world. They get the job done right while earning family-sustaining wages and benefits that provide them a secure place in America’s middle class.”

Callahan told The Times a special feature of the agreement is that 51 percent of the workers for the construction project must be drawn from Barnstable County, Bristol County, Dukes County, and Plymouth County. 

Callahan said he felt both pride and relief after sealing the deal.

“It was over three years negotiating it,” he said. “We’re looking forward to getting to work on the project.”

On the short list for upcoming components of the project to tackle will be the electrical substation in Barnstable, he said.

“It will be one of the first things that gets moving,” he said. 


  1. I don’t know of any union members in the trades living on the Vineyard or Nantucket. Maybe I am wrong.

  2. Matt- no reason to think that hundreds of ‘locals” can’t join a union and participate in this project. I also think that every living wage job here will not be a union job.
    For the conservatives here who are upset about the loss of jobs on the canceled pipeline,
    You should be very happy about these jobs.
    You know, all those people who used to shoe horses got jobs fixing ” horseless carriages” .
    That’s how it works — the obsolete fade away, and new technology raises our standard of living. A 2 billion dollar project, with plenty of spillover benefits could even be embraced by “conservatives” if they could only take off their agenda driven blinders and look at the facts.

  3. This project likely wont happen. It will require tax equity partners, cash equity investments and debt financing. It requires investors who can mitigate risk in construction and operations and political hurdles including cash flow. Lots of hurdles on the way to permanent financing. Yes the Danes and the Spanish are behind it but lots of moving parts to make it happen and of course we have Wampanoags and environmentalists. Mr Keller will doubtless chime in and bet me.

    • “Mr Keller will chime in and bet me” You really want to open that can of worms, Andrew?

      • I agree. The ongoing Engelman/Keller skirmishes are turning childish. Their tauntings diminish both voices.

    • Andy– I do offer a standing bet to climate deniers every year around the first of January that the next year will be one of the warmest 10 in modern history as recorded by major meteorological institutions world wide and I offer 10 to one odds, That is true.
      But in an apparent attempt at revisionist history, you seem to be implying that I have, at some point in the past, offered a personal bet to you about something other than my standard climate denier offer. . There is also a difference between a “bet” and an offer of a bet. A “bet” is when both parties agree to the terms and conditions. In all the years I have been participating in this forum, I can only recall one such situation.
      But, Andy– I am of the mindset that this project will in fact happen. “inevitable” I think.
      If you decided to chime in and offer some terms and conditions, I might be open to accepting such an offer.
      Also nice deflection on a major American project and “blaming” foreigners, by the way. BUT___
      Major funding apparently is coming from Avangrid Renewables, LLC —headquartered in Portland, Oregon
      And –Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners Headquartered in Denmark.

      And in case you didn’t know it, funding for your beloved keystone pipeline was 100 % guaranteed by a foreign government who’s prime minister was called “two faced” by
      our former twice impeached soon to be indicted loser ex president.
      I didn’t notice you complaining about a foreign government providing 35 permanent jobs ( yup– that’s not a typo– 35) for Americans for a foreign product that would be immediately shipped to other foreign countries.

      And you know what else, Andrew ? Tesla is not bankrupt.
      “Tesla will be bankrupt of be bought in this year. And if bought , it will be at a discount.”
      –Andrew Engelman , March 3 2019.

      Be careful, buddy– there are people out there who will take your money if you offer foolish bets.

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