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Vineyard Wind picks GE turbines for Massachusetts offshore wind farm

·2 min read

Dec 2 (Reuters) - Vineyard Wind selected General Electric Co as its preferred wind turbine supplier for the Vineyard Wind 1 project off the coast of Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts.

Previously, Vineyard Wind proposed using Vestas Wind System A/S' V164 turbines, but that contract expired in February 2020, according to analysts at ClearView Energy Partners LLC.

As part of the move to GE, Vineyard Wind said on Tuesday it temporarily withdrew its plan from further review by the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to allow the project team to conduct a final review.

Vineyard Wind said that review will likely take several weeks, allowing it to reach the financial close in the second half of 2021 and begin delivering power in 2023.

ClearView said the decision to switch suppliers could delay a BOEM decision until President-elect Joe Biden takes office, which "may lessen what the industry may view as incremental risk of a permit denial" from Donald Trump's administration.

"We continue to think the offshore wind industry is likely to view the Biden Administration more as a 'partner' instead of as an obstacle," ClearView said.

ClearView also said purchasing GE turbines could align with Biden's support for domestic trade unions.

The 800-megawatt (MW) project is not the first U.S. offshore wind farm - that is Orsted A/S' 30-MW Block Island project off Rhode Island.

But Vineyard Wind says it is on track to be the first U.S. utility-scale offshore wind installation. It is designed to generate enough electricity for more than 400,000 customers in Massachusetts.

Vineyard Wind 1 will use GE's Haliade-X wind turbines with a capacity of up to 13 MW, according to the GE website. Vestas' V164 turbines had a capacity of up to 10 MW.

Vineyard Wind is a joint venture between Avangrid Inc's Avangrid Renewables unit and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners.

(Reporting by Scott DiSavino Editing by Chris Reese)