As U.S. offshore wind cranks to life, European investors celebrate
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The nascent U.S. offshore wind community is celebrating this week after the Interior Dept. gave environmental approval to the biggest new wind farm to date in New England, the Vineyard Wind project off of Martha’s Vineyard. But it’s European wind investors who are the big winners.
As wind projects along the Eastern seaboard begin to take shape — after almost two decades of discussion and delays — European businesses are partnering with key states such as Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Vineyard Wind plans to generate up to 800 megawatts — enough to power 400,000 homes — starting in 2023, the first commercial scale offshore project in the U.S. It’s run by a joint venture of Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners from Denmark and Avingrid Renewables, a unit of Spanish energy giant Iberdola SA, whose shares rose 3% today on the approval news.
Ørsted, Denmark’s largest energy company, which is investing in other U.S. projects, saw its shares jump more than 6%. Shares of Vestas Wind Systems (VWDRY), the largest maker of wind turbines, popped more than 6% as well, though in the case of Vineyard Wind, the turbines will be produced by General Electric (GE).
In all, there are about a dozen other wind projects along the East Coast, as far down as New Jersey and Virginia, hoping to gain approvals — and with them, lucrative tax credits — in coming months. They promise thousands of jobs — U.S. jobs — and important new sources of energy to the Northeast grid. But it’s a global business and right now, Europe has taken the lead.
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