Vineyard Wind Readies Island Headquarters (2024)

About 14 miles to the Island’s south, Vineyard Wind is in the midst of building its 16th offshore wind turbine, each structure about three times taller than the Statue of Liberty. The company has 46 more to go after that, making the historic offshore wind energy project still a work in progress.

But closer to home, on Beach Road in Vineyard Haven, Vineyard Wind is on the verge of celebrating another milestone: the company is putting the final touches on its two-story, 14,000-square foot operations and maintenance headquarters. It expects workers to move in by next month.

During a hardhat tour of the new building this week, officials with Vineyard Wind and its parent company Avangrid said they hope to be done with the facility and have employees working there by the beginning of June, marking the start of the offshore wind industry’s day-to-day presence on the Island.

Construction started last year. — Ray Ewing

Of the several wind projects that have been approved in an area of ocean just south of the Island, only Vineyard Wind has decided to base its operations here. Construction started on the shoreside facility last year.

“The building, for all intents and purposes, is done,” said Jack Arruda, the director of site operations for Avangrid. “We still need our final sign-off by the building inspector, we’ve had some preliminary walkthroughs with them last week, but we think we’re in pretty good shape.”

A gray-shingled office and warehouse between Wolf’s Den Pizzeria and Tisbury Marketplace, the building will be the brain of the wind farm’s operations for at least the next 25 years, with several dozen maintenance and operations employees working there to keep the company’s 62 turbines running.

From the street, the most noticeable thing about the building is its first floor. Because Vineyard Haven is so deep in the flood zone, federal regulations required the new construction to be elevated. The headquarters sits on steel piles about 15 feet above street level.

It’s an indication of how the rest of the downtown may have to change in the future, said Ben Robinson, a member of the Tisbury planning board and the Martha’s Vineyard Commission.

“We’ll see other buildings developed in that area use that same formula,” Mr. Robinson said. “But it does put into question what kind of buildings are viable in that area.”

It’s an expensive proposition, though. According to contractor Dellbrook-JKS, the building is valued at more than $16 million.

A parking lot will be situated where the ground floor would have been, which is somewhat of a blessing, said Vineyard Wind CEO Klaus Moeller.

“That was one of the bottlenecks when we were planning this,” he said. “We didn’t have a place where there was enough parking, so lifting the building up allows for more parking.”

A cavernous warehouse will store spare parts for the turbines. — Ray Ewing

On the first floor, there is a cavernous warehouse, canteen, changing rooms, an IT area and a meeting room. The warehouse is the largest singular space in the facility and Vineyard Wind will use it to store spare electrical parts, motors and other equipment for the 837-foot tall turbines.

On the second floor there are several more offices and the control center, where employees will monitor the turbines.

“They will be operating from here and have access to everything,” said Nuria Soto, the vice president of operations and maintenance at Avangrid.

Engineers, warehouse coordinators, safety officials and technicians will all work out of the Vineyard Haven building, Ms. Soto said.

General Electric, which manufactured the turbines, will also have office space in the operations building so the company can keep an eye on how the infrastructure rolls out for the first time in the U.S.

On Tuesday, when the Gazette walked through the facility, much of the building was finished, though it largely hadn’t been outfitted for a full complement of workers. Fences still enclosed the building and landscaping had not yet started in the dirt perimeter area outside. Rooms lie largely empty and unfurnished.

Ten turbines are delivering power to the New England Grid. — Ray Ewing

Once the operations facility in Vineyard Haven is up and running, the company will begin to use its new terminal, located just down the street on Vineyard Haven harbor. From there, technicians will head out to the turbines by boat. On Tuesday, a septic installation was taking place at the terminal, and other utilities were being put into place.

When completed, the harborside terminal will be able to handle three vessels that will transport technicians to the wind farm.

The last piece of Vineyard Wind’s footprint on the Island is a helicopter hangar at Martha’s Vineyard Airport. It was the first building to be completed and it is ready to house helicopters that will take quick trips out to the substation at the wind farm.

While the final touches on the Island facilities are being done, Vineyard Wind employees are largely working out of New Bedford. About 30 people have been hired for the operations facility and Vineyard Wind has said it is looking to hire about 90 people in total to work out of the Vineyard location.

The company has secured some employee housing on the Island, much of it within walking distance of the Beach Road building, including some apartments owned by the Packer family, Mr. Arruda said.

Mr. Moeller said the company is in an in-between phase now. Ten turbines are already delivering power while construction at the ocean location is ongoing. Weather delays have been common — an area prized for its strong winds makes for a hard place to build, Mr. Moeller said.

Vineyard Wind's dock in Vineyard Haven will host boats that travel back and forth to the turbines. — Ray Ewing

“You’ve got to really plan on weather conditions and maintenance schedules, on going to each one of those assets,” Mr. Arruda said. “We only put in so many trips per year.”

Vineyard Wind hopes to ramp up the installation of the turbines this summer when the weather is calmer and it is easier to get crews to the turbines. As of this week, 47 turbine foundations have been installed. When complete, the wind farm will be the largest in the country.

“Once we’re done, we’ll be happy,” Mr. Arruda said.

Vineyard Wind Readies Island Headquarters (2024)


Who is Vineyard Wind owned by? ›

Vineyard Wind 1 is jointly owned by Avangrid and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners through its flagship fund, CI II and III. The project is being developed and constructed by Avangrid and Vineyard Offshore, CIP's affiliate development company working on U.S. offshore projects.

Where is the Vineyard Wind project located? ›

An 806-megawatt project located 14 miles off the coast of Martha's Vineyard, Vineyard Wind will generate electricity for more than 400,000 homes and businesses in Massachusetts, create 3,600 Full Time Equivalent job years, save customers $1.4 billion over the first 20 years of operation, and is expected to reduce ...

What is the status of the Vineyard Wind project? ›

In addition to the five operating turbines, Vineyard Wind has completed construction on four others. A tenth turbine is being installed now and the parts for the 11th turbine will soon be sent on a large boat from New Bedford to the project site.

How much did the Vineyard Wind project cost? ›

The 806-megawatt Vineyard Wind project is the first utility-scale wind power facility to be developed in federal waters at a cost of $4 billion. The Vineyard Wind project is located 15 miles off Martha's Vineyard. The project has installed nine turbines and is in the process of installing a tenth turbine.

What is the controversy with the Vineyard Wind project? ›

Opponents allege that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management failed to comply with a series of laws — including the Endangered Species Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the National Environmental Policy Act — when it permitted the 800-megawatt project in 2021.

Who is the CEO of Vineyard Offshore? ›

CEO. As CEO, Alicia Barton has responsibility for developing Vineyard Offshore's portfolio of more than 6 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind projects in North America. With over 15 years' experience in both public and private sectors, Alicia is a proven leader in clean energy development.

How big is Vineyard Wind 1? ›

The 800-megawatt Vineyard Wind 1 Offshore Wind Energy Project will be located approximately 12 nautical miles offshore Martha's Vineyard and 12 nautical miles offshore Nantucket in the northern portion of Vineyard Wind's lease area (OCS-A 0501).

Is Vineyard Wind floating? ›

In 2022, Vineyard Offshore participated in the first-ever US West Coast auction for commercial-scale floating offshore wind energy development. Vineyard Offshore was awarded a lease area west of Humboldt County for floating wind turbine development.

How tall are Vineyard Wind turbines? ›

The components. Vineyard Wind uses GE Renewable Energy's industry leading Haliade-X wind turbine generators, the most powerful in operation to date, with up to 13 megawatts of power and a height of 248 metres.

What is the debt of the Vineyard Wind? ›

Advisers to the sponsors include CCA Group and Santander (financial) and Kirkland & Ellis (legal). The debt includes a $2.34 billion senior loan and a $104 million L/C, both with a tenor of construction-plus-seven years.

How much does a Vineyard Wind machine cost? ›

Valuing Vineyard Wind Machines

Wind machines cost in the range of $12,000 for a reconditioned model to $60,000 or more for a new model. Once installed, wind machines in Napa County stay in one place, even though some models are mounted on skids.

Who owns the largest wind farm? ›

Top 10 Wind Power Plant Operators in the World in 2021 by Capacity
  • NextEra Energy Inc. Power. Parent. ...
  • Iberdrola SA. Spain. Sector. ...
  • Enel SpA. Italy. Sector. ...
  • China Huaneng Group Co Ltd. Power. Parent. ...
  • State Power Investment Corp Ltd. Power. Parent. ...
  • RWE AG. Power. ...
  • Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Financial Services. ...
  • Energias de Portugal SA. Portugal.

Who owns Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners? ›

CIP is majority owned by the four Senior Partners: Jakob Baruël Poulsen, Torsten Lodberg Smed, Christina Grumstrup Sørensen and Christian Skakkebæk.

Who runs the vineyard? ›

A vigneron is someone who cultivates a vineyard for winemaking. The word connotes or emphasizes the critical role that vineyard placement and maintenance has in the production of high-quality wine.

What is the Vineyard Wind Tax Equity Deal? ›

The $1.2 billion transaction was reached with J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo. This first-of-its-kind deal is the largest single asset tax equity financing and the first for a commercial scale offshore wind project.

Who owns AVANGRID? ›

Avangrid, Inc. is 81,50% owned by Iberdrola, S.A.

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