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Vineyard Wind still in test mode, but five of eight completed turbines could be operating soon

A GE Haliade-X Turbine Stands in the Vineyard Wind 1 Project Area South of Martha’s Vineyard.
Worldview Films
A GE Haliade-X Turbine Stands in the Vineyard Wind 1 Project Area South of Martha’s Vineyard.

Vineyard Wind has yet to begin operating full-time, after first sending power to the grid, as a test, more than a month ago. But that could change shortly.

One of Vineyard Wind’s two parent companies, Avangrid, tells CAI the project is planning some kind of announcement very soon — though the company is keeping quiet on the exact nature of the news.

“The project continues to work through the commissioning process for the first string of five turbines,” Craig Gilvarg, a spokesperson for Avangrid, said in an email.

Installation work is complete on eight turbines out of a planned 62, and a ninth is under construction, according to Vineyard Wind spokesman Andrew Doba.

The wind farm first sent electricity to the grid from one turbine Jan. 2.

In recent weeks, the turbines have been delivering power intermittently, up to 13.6 megawatts at a time, Gilvarg said.

13.6 megawatts matches the updated capacity rating of each of the 13-megawatt Haliade-X turbines Vineyard Wind ordered from GE.

Asked Thursday if they have concerns about Vineyard Wind’s progress, both Gov. Maura Healey’s office and the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs said they feel confident in the project and look forward to hearing more.

"We're excited about the steady progress Vineyard Wind has made and we are confident initial operations will begin soon,” said Healey’s press secretary, Karissa Hand, in an email.

Thursday’s national news on offshore wind put Massachusetts in the spotlight: The U.S. Department of Energy announced it will create a new, national academic center on offshore wind, led by UMass Amherst with about 40 partners. The Academic Center for Reliability and Resilience of Offshore Wind, or ARROW, will be funded at $4.75 million, with a goal to accelerate offshore wind development and research.

This post has been revised to remove a time reference for an announcement, reflecting a later communication from Avangrid.

Jennette Barnes is a reporter and producer. Named a Master Reporter by the New England Society of News Editors, she brings more than 20 years of news experience to CAI.

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