Vineyard Wind brings in a big player

Vineyard Wind brings in a big player

Deal gives offshore wind firm financial muscle

A BIG INTERNATIONAL ENERGY PLAYER is jumping into the competition for offshore wind power contracts with Massachusetts.

Through a company in which it is the major shareholder, Iberdrola S.A., a Spain-based energy giant, is buying a 50 percent stake in Vineyard Wind, one of three companies likely to bid on the Bay State’s offshore wind contracts. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The other two likely bidders are Deepwater Wind of Rhode Island and Bay State Wind, a partnership of DONG Energy of Denmark and Eversource Energy.

The new investment in Vineyard Wind means the company now has a lot of financial muscle behind it. The firm is jointly owned by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, a fund management company with heavy investments in wind power, and Avangrid Renewables, a wind and solar power generator operating in 22 US states.

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Bruce Mohl

Editor, CommonWealth

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

Avangrid Renewables earlier this year acquired an offshore wind lease off the coast of North Carolina, but that project is in its early stages. By contrast, Massachusetts is expected to issue a request for proposals for offshore wind power later this year. Michael West Jr., the vice president for corporate communications at Avangrid Inc., said the company wanted to get in early. “We recognize that the offshore wind market in the United States is opportune right now,” he said.

Lars Thaaning Pedersen, the co-CEO of Copenhagen’s offshore wind development company, said his firm’s new partners bring with them valuable expertise in onshore wind as well as European offshore wind. “There are benefits for both of us in joining forces,” he said.

Iberdrola owns 81.5 percent of the shares of Avangrid Inc., a publicly traded company. Avangrid owns two operating companies: Avangrid Renewables is the renewable energy arm, while Avangrid networks operates traditional gas and electric utilities in New England and New York, including Berkshire Gas, Central Maine Power, Connecticut Natural Gas, Maine Natural Gas, New York State Electric & Gas, Rochester Gas and Electric, Southern Connecticut Gas, and United Illuminating.