Avangrid admits it has 'defaulted in one of the steps of PPA contract'

Avangrid has defaulted on a provision of the power purchase agreements (PPA) with three Massachusetts utilities for its planned 1.2GW Commonwealth wind project.

Pedro Azagra, CEO of Avangrid, told analysts in an earnings call: “In the case of Massachusetts, we’ve already defaulted in one of the steps the contract had.”

It was not clear what provision he was referring to. Avangrid is part of Spanish energy giant Iberdrola.

Avangrid has been in a dispute with the state of Massachusetts over the rate of its PPAs, which it says are too low to account for recent inflation and other cost-raising factors.

The Commonwealth project has PPAs at a combined price for energy and renewable energy certificates beginning at $47.68/MWh on a nominal levelised basis, rising at 2.5% a year for 20 years to $76.22. 

The utilities the wind farm has PPAs with are Eversource, National Grid and Unitil.

Avangrid sued the state’s Department of Public Utilities in January over the issue, but has since then reportedly been in negotiations to try and avert a fight in court.

In the earnings call, Azagra also confirmed that Avangrid’s 800MW Vineyard 1 wind project, also off Massachusetts, is on track to deliver first power later this year. Installation of foundations should start within two months, he said.

Avangrid could not be reached for comment before deadline.