Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright represented Vineyard Wind in its US$2.3 billion financing for the company's first offshore wind farm, Vineyard Wind 1. The project represents the first commercial scale offshore wind farm in the US to achieve final close and one of the largest investments in a single renewable energy project in the country.
Vineyard Wind is an offshore wind development company and a joint venture between Avangrid Renewables, a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc., and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners. Vineyard Wind 1 is an 800 MW offshore wind project located 15 miles off the coast of Martha's Vineyard. The project will generate electricity for more than 400,000 homes and businesses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, save ratepayers US$1.4 billion over the first 20 years of operation and is expected to reduce carbon emissions by more than 1.6 million tons per year.
Norton Rose Fulbright's work as project counsel on the Vineyard Wind 1 project began in 2017. Its work has included advice on all aspects of structuring, documenting and closing the project's financing arrangements and US law and financing-related advice on the project's commercial contracts.
Working with nine international and US based banks, approximately US$2.3 billion of senior debt has been raised to finance the construction of the project. The milestone enables Vineyard Wind to provide a notice to proceed to its contractors in the coming days and weeks, allowing suppliers to start hiring, training and mobilizing people to prepare for both on and offshore construction. Onshore work will begin this Fall in Barnstable, with offshore work commencing in 2022. The first power from Vineyard Wind 1 will be delivered to the grid in 2023.
Advised by Santander, the US$2.3 billion of senior debt includes investments from nine financial institutions, including Bank of America, BBVA, BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole, J.P. Morgan, MUFG, Natixis, NatWest and Santander.
Norton Rose Fulbright's core deal team was led by Rob Eberhardt (New York) and also included William Nicholson (New York), Keith Martin (Washington, DC), Christy Rivera (New York), Lara Thiele (New York) and Tobi Amoo (New York).
Jim Berger (Los Angeles), Marian Baldwin Fuerst (New York), Kat Gamache (Houston), Marjorie Glover (New York), Utsav Mathur (Houston), Scott Berson (New York), Jarret Stephens (New York), Andrew Skroback (New York), Kevin Prokup (New York), Beth Rippetoe (Washington, DC), Ben Grayson (New York), Laura Kaplan (Washington, DC), Sol Kwon (Washington, DC) and Marie Matousek (New York) also assisted on the transaction.