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Mayor Wu announces support for Avangrid's proposal for offshore wind energy, a first for a U.S. city

This is a tangible step towards achieving the City of Boston’s pledge to run on fully renewable energy by 2030

Mayor Michelle Wu announced her support of Avangrid's New England Wind 1 offshore wind proposal in response to the multi-state procurement for offshore wind power by Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. If Avangrid’s bid is selected by the state, this transaction would be a first for a US city to contract for offshore wind. This endorsement reflects Boston's commitment to decarbonizing the city by investing in clean energy and creating sustainable economic opportunities for its residents. If awarded, part of the energy generated through the project will be used to power Boston’s municipal buildings and residences enrolled in our municipal energy aggregation program, Boston Community Choice Electricity

“Boston must lead the way in building a sustainable future, and we’re proud to set a new standard with a direct stake in innovation to create clean energy and good jobs for our residents and communities,” said Mayor Michelle Wu.  “This partnership advances our climate goals while bringing thousands of green jobs to our region, creating a pathway for generations to come."

The City of Boston and Avangrid have agreed upon a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in which the City of Boston could purchase up to 15 megawatts of energy as part of a future agreement, the equivalent of one wind turbine, from the New England Wind 1 offshore project, if the Commonwealth selects Avangrid as one of their awardees. Avangrid’s New England Wind 1 project has the potential to deliver up to 800 megawatts of renewable energy to the New England grid, enough to power up to 400,000 homes and businesses in the region. The project is estimated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 1.5 million US tons of carbon dioxide per year, equivalent to taking over 280,000 cars off the road. The amount of electricity that the City of Boston may purchase under the terms of a potential agreement is equal to nearly a third of all the electricity used annually by Boston Public Schools in addition to nearly 5,000 homes. Avangrid has also offered to implement vocational training for Boston Public School students, meaning that this collaboration would not only advance Boston’s climate goals but create an investment in the green jobs pipeline, an important part of Boston’s Green New Deal. 

“The City of Boston is thrilled by the chance to participate in the offshore wind revolution” said Reverend Mariama White-Hammond, Chief of Environment, Energy and Open Space. “I would particularly like to thank David Musselman, Boston’s Director of Municipal Energy, who has spearheaded innovative energy projects like this in Boston and will be retiring next month.”

Offshore wind is an industry on the frontlines of the climate crisis, building energy cost resilience in a market that has been increasingly destabilized by its reliance on fossil fuels. The City of Boston believes Avangrid could potentially deliver a transformational project to Massachusetts that would help the state meet its critical energy needs and secure new economic opportunities for its residents. 

“Mayor Wu and the City of Boston are among the country’s foremost climate champions, so we saw a natural opportunity with our New England Wind bid and the City’s leadership to form this exciting partnership,” said Avangrid CEO Pedro Azagra. “Our goal with New England Wind is to bring the region’s historic communities into the very blueprints of our project, and we’re thrilled to establish this partnership with the City to ensure that Boston benefits from the clean power and economic opportunity that offshore wind offers.”

The City of Boston recognizes the significance of this opportunity to advance its renewable energy goals and support the growth of the green economy. By collaborating with Avangrid, Boston aims to lead the way in sustainable energy development and contribute to a cleaner, greener future for all.

This opportunity is one example of the innovative energy projects that the City has implemented to achieve its carbon neutrality goals. Renew Boston Trust’s energy performance contracting reduces energy use and emissions from the City's buildings and exterior lights. Renew Boston Trust projects are expected to save the City $2.3 million and reduce carbon emissions by 3,600 mtCO2e annually. The City of Boston has also secured a $250,000 grant from the Barr Foundation to pilot the City's Equitable Electrification Initiative in one of our environmental justice neighborhoods and previously supported the state in the creation of the Massachusetts Community Climate Bank. Through collaborative efforts like these, the City of Boston continues to pave the way for a more sustainable and equitable future, driving positive change for generations to come

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