CIP joins party off Massachusetts
Investment fund acquires 100% of US lease winner OffshoreMW
Danish investment company Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners has acquired 100% of development outfit OffshoreMW, including a 1GW-plus offshore wind federal lease in Massachusetts.
The deal is the first by CIP in US offshore and brings the newly-renamed Vineyard wind farm some 25km south of Martha’s Vineyard one step closer to reality.
OffshoreMW was previously majority owned by Blackstone. Community outfit Vineyard Power, based on the nearby island, will continue as a local partner in the offshore project.
"CIP has acquired 100% of OffshoreMW, a company holding a 166,886 acre (675 square km) offshore wind energy lease issued by the US and located south of Massachusetts,” confirmed the new owner.
"Offshore MW is eligible to participate in the utility tender program established by recently enacted legislation in Massachusetts, which calls for a total of 1600MW of new offshore wind capacity until 2027.
"The first tender round to obtain a long term power offtake agreement is expected to take place mid-2017, leading to first power from the winning project approximately four years later,” it added.
The new owner said the project will be "developed by the existing local development team, supported by senior industry experts from CIP”.
Survey work at the project site is due to kick off in the next two or three weeks to “understand the seafloor geology in the area where the turbines are installed” ahead of foundation design.
“We’re very excited to have the backing of the CIP family as we move full speed ahead in developing our lease area,” said Erich Stephens, executive vice president of OffshoreMW.
"We as a company are very fortunate to be joining with CIP and Massachusetts will benefit from having a truly world-class offshore wind team developing this project for the commonwealth,” he added.
The US project is thought to be the first time CIP has taken a majority stake in an offshore wind projects.
Other investments have been made in SSE's 588MW Beatrice offshore wind farm in Scotland, the 400MW Veja Mate off Germany and offshore grid infrastructure in Germany. CIP also invests in onshore wind and biomass in a variety of markets, among other activities.