The U.S. offshore wind sector took a major step forward Tuesday after authorities gave the green light for the construction and operation of the 800 megawatt (MW) Vineyard Wind 1 project.
In a statement, the U.S. Department of the Interior described the development, which will be located in waters off the coast of Massachusetts, as “the first large-scale, offshore wind project in the United States.”
The Vineyard Wind project, it said, was expected to generate 3,600 jobs and “provide enough power for 400,000 homes and businesses.”
The DOI added that a Record of Decision had granted Vineyard Wind “final federal approval to install 84 or fewer turbines off Massachusetts as part of an 800-megawatt offshore wind energy facility.”
Vineyard Wind is a 50-50 joint venture between Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Avangrid Renewables. The latter is a subsidiary of Avangrid, which is part of the Iberdrola Group, a major utility headquartered in Spain.
Iberdrola says investment in the project will amount to 2.5 billion euros ($3.03 billion). If all goes to plan, it could enter into service in 2023.
In a phone interview on Tuesday, Jonathan Cole, who is global managing director of offshore wind at Iberdrola, told CNBC that the project’s approval was “extremely significant.”