Another milestone in Vineyard Wind project

The fifth turbine in the project is up and delivering power to the grid.

Five of Vineyard Wind's turbines are delivering power to the New England grid. —Courtesy of Avangrid

Updated Feb. 27

Massachusetts is now receiving more renewable energy through Vineyard Wind.

Avangrid, the company that owns half of Vineyard Wind, announced last week that the first five turbines of the offshore wind project have been installed and are delivering electricity. 

The project is now providing around 68 megawatts to the New England grid, which Avangrid says equals about “30,000 homes and businesses in Massachusetts.” The announcement was made in a press release issued on Thursday, Feb. 22.

“Every milestone we achieve on Vineyard Wind 1 is special, but powering up these first turbines stands apart as an exceptional achievement for Avangrid, Massachusetts, and the nation,” Avangrid CEO Pedro Azagra said in the release. “Each rotation of the blades, and every megawatt flowing to homes across Massachusetts, is a testament to the years of perseverance and partnership that have defined this trailblazing project.”

Avangrid states that offshore wind is a “critical energy resource” for the Northeast region and is positioned to meet the peak winter power demand in New England. According to the release, ISO New England, which oversees the region’s power grid and wholesale electricity market, released an assessment in 2018 saying 800 Megawatts of offshore wind energy during a two-week cold snap would have saved ratepayers between $40 million and $45 million, alongside avoiding over 108,000 metric tons of carbon emissions. 

“Large-scale offshore wind resources are critical to meeting the commonwealth’s decarbonization goals and supporting the region’s clean energy transition while helping to minimize the impacts on customers of volatility in the seasonal cost of natural gas, which is used to produce roughly half of New England’s electricity,” Eversource spokesperson Priscilla Ress said. “In addition to helping meet clean energy public policy objectives and reducing the region’s dependence on natural gas, customers should also see lower supply costs as more wind projects like Vineyard Wind come online in the future.”

As for the impact of Vineyard Wind for ratepayers, this winter was still too soon to tell. 

“It is too early to speculate about supply costs for customers given the dynamic nature of energy supply markets and the relative potential impact of a single project,” Ress said. 

Electricity from Vineyard Wind is distributed to a regional New England grid.

Once fully operational, Vineyard Wind will be the largest renewable energy facility in New England, delivering 806 megawatts of power and providing electricity to 400,000 homes and businesses in the state, according to the release. The project delivers power to the New England grid through a connection in Barnstable transmitted by underground cables connected to a substation further inland on Cape Cod. 

“This marks a turning point in the clean energy transition. After many decades of advocacy, research, policymaking, and finally construction, America’s offshore wind industry has gone from a dream to reality,” Gov. Maura Healey said in the release, also saying the project will “make the air we breathe safer and healthier, save customers money, and bring us one step closer to achieving net-zero emissions.” 

Vineyard Wind delivered five megawatts of power from one of its turbines into the grid in early January. The project then provided power from each of the first five turbines intermittently as its operations ramped up, the release states. Additionally, power will be delivered to the grid sequentially as each turbine completes its commissioning process. 

Developers have installed nine turbines so far with a tenth currently in the install phase; preparations are underway to transport an eleventh turbine to the project site. There will be 62 wind turbines once the project is completed. 

“This marks a historic moment for Massachusetts, and indeed the nation,” State Sen. Julian Cyr, D-Truro, said in the release. “Vineyard Wind is now delivering clean energy to the grid and our homes[,] produced right off our shores! This milestone is a testament to the achievements we can reach through collaboration, persistence, and dedication to a green future. Cape Codders and Islanders are proud to pave the way for continued advancement of a clean energy future in Massachusetts powered by offshore wind, one that’s critical to saving our planet and coastal communities.”


  1. I like the MV Times– but sometimes I just have to shake my
    head in disbelief about how things get by the editor.
    I’m talking about this –“Additionally, the release does not
    state how many of the 30,000 homes and businesses
    powered by the project are from the Island.”
    I just don’t know what to say– NONE? — All OF THEM ?
    I think the most ignorant and disingenuous argument
    about ANY project that produces electricity is that “it is
    going somewhere else”.
    Electricity from this project goes into the New England grid
    and everyone connected to that grid gets it.
    It is a shared commodity.
    The generation charge on your electric bill comes from
    different suppliers, but that is just accounting magic.
    It has nothing to do with the actual electrons.

  2. Am I the only resident that finds it horrendous to think both Vineyard Wind and next New England Wind plan to litter our waterways with massive untested Wind Farms that will ruin our views, endanger island wildlife, disturb coveted sea beds and negatively impact our island’s fishing industry to provide electricity for everyone but US? Who are the reps supposedly representing our island community who are selling us out? I’m sorry, I’d rather just continue to pay Eversource and save our shorelines. Where’s the outrage?

    • jean– while most of you comment is the usual subjective whining
      of neophobes, your comment about where the electricity goes is
      a flat out lie. You are entitled to your opinions, but the fact is that
      the electricity comes ashore in Barnstable and connects to the
      New England power grid, which is distributed throughout New England.
      Martha’s Vineyard gets its power from that grid.
      We have enough people who pedal misinformation, pseudo science,
      incorrect and uncorroborated opinions that they pass off as facts.
      Please don’t throw flat out lies into the mix. Some people are actually
      gullible enough to believe them.

    • No you are NOT alone, Jean. The fact that this could be allowed to happen here in Vineyard Waters is reprehensible.

      • Vineyard waters ore off limits ?
        Water anywhere else is fine ?
        The electricity is coming to us.
        Why should some other community
        suffer from the air pollution so we
        can heat our swimming pools year round ?

      • Martha and Jean, how will you flip your light switch and get electricity when the oil and coal runs out—Unless we have changed over to renewable energy sources? (I guess I don’t really mean you, there will be enough in our lifetimes, I guess I mean our grandkids). It isn’t reprehensible to prepare for the future, nor is it reprehensible to reduce burning fossil fuels to protect our ecosystems. Renewable energy sources are not “litter” like an empty soda can in the side of the road. If you don’t like how our energy sources damage your eyes 👀, consider the alternative: going without.

    • Jean, I would like to gently remind you that there are species that are no longer in New England waters because Eversource, and companies like them, have been burning fossil fuels at an alarming rate. I personally believe that people will make the switch to renewable energy when it benefits them. Not before. If you personally had been baiting lobster 🦞 pots and watched the decline of the lobster population YOURSELF, then maybe you would feel differently about windmills providing electricity so that the lobsters didn’t have to disappear. One of these days the gulfstream is going to change direction and throw parts of Europe into an ice age. If YOU were the one going to experience the dramatic shift in climate maybe you wouldn’t see renewable energy as the bogeyman.

    • Untested, you say? How about the many hundreds of wind turbines currently operating throughout Europe and Asia and the Americas both onshore and off? Wind energy is neither untested or new and there are volumes of evidence pertaining to migratory birds, wildlife and marine life that is available to anyone who cares to take a few minutes to look.
      You are entitled to your aesthetic opinions but not your personal science.
      The coveted seabed you mention is currently being stripped bare by commercial draggers which do considerable damage, and the acidification of the waters that surround the Island have both added to the environmental damage wrought by coal burning powerplants hundreds of miles to the west. Heavy metals, such as cadmium, arsenic and lead are also accumulating in the flesh of many of the species we routinely eat.
      I do however agree with your last statement and believe it is worth repeating: Where’s the outrage?

    • Jean, no you are not.

      On Nantucket the Atlantic horizon is now studded with towers, substations, and flashing lights.

      “Untested” obviously refers to the fact that the long-term effects of these industrial structures and their maintenance on the ecology of our Continental Shelf are unknown.

  3. Mary – please elaborate on your comment about lobsters.
    I’m curious to understand what you’re talking about.

    • Jason– You are about the most reasonable
      opponent of these machines. it seems the lobster
      population has been dramatically declining
      over the last few years or so in southern N.E– note my link–
      Do you have different information ?
      By the way, I looked at your picture about the
      V.W boat travelling at a high rate of speed.
      I was fascinated , and found the site to access real time
      data about ships in the area, where they are going
      and their speed. This is the kind of debate we should be
      having– fact based– not “we won’t get any of the electricity”
      or “these kill whales”. I really do appreciate your knowledge
      and diligence to put up actual verifiable data. Of course, as with
      most things, opinions are highly subjective.
      But, back to the V.W cargo ships travelling too fast, I will go down to their
      V.H office and talk to them about that. Thanks for pointing
      it out and giving me the route to observe this . Just because
      I think these are a good idea, does not mean I will condone
      reckless behavior .
      Believe me, I will call them call them out if I think they are
      endangering whales.

    • Jason, here is an article that explains the lobster 🦞 situation pretty well, based on local university research:
      The gist of the article is that lobsters 🦞 are no longer in the sound because of the increased temperature of the water. There are secondary causes, but none of those causes would have caused the decimation of the lobster 🦞 population. And you guessed correctly, I used to fish for lobster 🦞. They have not returned. (Somber silence).
      Rest in Peace lobsters 🦞. When are we next?

    • Jason, at the moment the wind boats are limited to 10 knots. If you had been out there you could see.

  4. “Eventually the Wind Farm will provide electrical power to 400,00 homes and businesses,”
    that already get their electric power from the grid.
    So what’s the point.
    Is it about “clean” energy (no coal), or making Fat Cats richer?
    What about that monstrosity building on Beach Road in VH?
    Wait til we see the huge port/docking facility, near Packers property, come on-line
    with monstrous industrial service boats

    • Charlie– Thanks for commenting. I appreciate different
      points of view.
      But let me explain about electricity—- again.
      The operators of the New England power grid, put out enough
      power for everyone in New England to have all the power they
      think they “need”. No more, no less– They do a pretty good job
      of balancing that demand. They buy that power. They don’t just
      add wind power into the mix without removing some other source
      of power. It is based primarily on price. Let’s say you want to fire up
      your hot tub tonight. The managers of the grid have to pick a source
      for that power. if wind power is cheaper– like 9 cents per KWH,
      they will buy that power rather than the perhaps 30 cents per KWH
      that they can buy from the coal burner in Bow N.H .
      Now of course, the electrons are not going past each other
      on their way to your house or mine. BUT — if the operators
      of the grid do not need that power from the coal burner, they shut
      it down and use the windpower. When the wind doesn’t blow,
      they purchase the power from wherever they can.
      That’s why, despite some orange buffoon telling us that if the wind doesn’t
      blow we won’t be able to watch the football game, we can. And we can
      do it while soaking in our hot tub.

  5. Yes VW will keep their insane build out as long as they qualify for Fed subsidies
    Then expect the diminishing returns aka a ghost company town Nobel cause but economically it feasible

    • Gayle– I would like to give you a task.
      Could you actually find out how, why and how much
      V.W actually gets in federal subsidies ?
      Where that money comes from, who they
      sell their pollution credits to, and please
      verify it all with some actual facts. Please don’t
      post an opinion piece from some right wing
      media propagandist. And then we can talk about
      subsidies to the coal ,gas and oil industries.
      I’m not saying they don’t
      get anything from the government, but i would
      like you to actually find that number. Whenever
      I spend the time to do that kind of stuff,it seems some idiots
      just mock me for wasting my time and tell me I am
      just getting fake information, and baselessly claim
      that such and such company is getting rich.
      Show me some facts, Gayle..

    • As it turns out, the fossil fuel industry is one of the most heavily subsidized industries in the country if not the highest since the 1950’s to the tune of nearly a trillion dollars. It has nothing to do in the least with economic viability and everything to do with something known as the ‘depletion allowance’ since oil, natural gas, etc. is considered to be a limited resource. Meanwhile the oil companies make billions in windfall profits while continuing to collect government subsidies.
      So, let’s not sweat over the relatively modest subsidies for renewables since it helps to level the playing field in an emerging market.

    • Gayle, May I encourage you to gather your own federal subsidies by installing your own renewable energy system? Calculate how much you spent on electricity the last three years, borrow that much from the bank and buy your own solar panels. Three years from now you’ll have your loan paid off (or will your federal subsidy reduce the amount you owe so maybe your payback is only two years?) and then put your old monthly electric bill into a savings account. Can’t wait to hear your plans for how to spend it!

    • Gayle, do have list of the Federal subsidy payment dates and payees?
      Do you have list of local and regional companies receiving millions and millions dollars in business from the wind farm.
      Do you have list of the work visas issued to Central American welders to build US flag Wind Service Vessels?
      Do you have list of Islanders making 120K on the wind farm?
      Do you know any Islanders who complain?

      • One of those late summer evenings when the wind drops off and you see a pretty plume wafting from the smokestacks.

  6. Thanks Don !
    I was just wondering if Mary was reading something or was more hands on with the lobster fishery(if so where was she fishing?) It kinda sounded like she was a fisherman that was saying the lobsters have moved on.
    I’ve read that some scientists think lobsters are progressively moving north but I don’t think this is entirely true. There are areas where lobsters almost disappeared completely but that was due to dumped chemicals in Connecticut river and hypoxia in long Island sound late 90s. They are slowly coming back in that area.
    Any dip in population around here , is due to predation from black sea bass and other species that eat them like gum drops.

    Hopefully VW responds well to your concerns.

  7. Jason– You know that there are balances in nature.
    Sea bass have been eating lobster like gumdrops for
    millenia, and when humans started eating lobster in this area,
    there were plenty of lobsters and sea bass What disrupted that balance ?
    My link notes a 97 % drop in lobster “take” since 1998. Doesn’t sound like
    a “coming back” scenario to me.

  8. How can Vineyard Wind deliver anything meaningful, other than dead whales, when only one turbine is turning out of ten today?

  9. Don -for some reason I can’t see any link you provided.

    Anyway, yes mother nature does a good job at balancing many species, it’s when man steps in that that balance gets thrown off a bit. That’s what’s kinda going on here. It’s complicated as far as sea bass goes. But the quick story is that the Mid Atlantic Fisheries council placed strict rules on what we in the northeast can take for quota , therefore the bio mass of sea bass has exploded causing harm to both the lobster fishery and the conch fishery , they are a very invasive species that has taken over these waters. Other species have also been overly protected that eat lobster , despite this , the lobster population seems to be doing fine locally. It’s the lobstermen that’s been depleted , not many of us left.

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