Association to Preserve Cape Cod Formally Endorses Vineyard Wind

APCC Executive Director Andrew Gottlieb (l), and Vineyard Wind Chief Development Officer Erich Stephens

DENNIS – The Association to Preserve Cape Cod has formally endorsed offshore wind energy developer Vineyard Wind.

The Association made the announcement in a press conference on Wednesday in Dennis.

“We called this meeting today to announce that APCC has come to the point where we’re prepared to enthusiastically endorse the Vineyard Wind project,” APCC Executive Director Andrew Gottlieb said.

“We have been working on this project with Vineyard Wind and fulfilling our commitment to our membership and diligently reviewing potential environmental impacts of this project for many many months now. We have arrived at the point, based on many environmental findings, that we feel that the potential environmental impacts from this project will be very minimal.”

On Saturday it was announced that Vineyard Wind was involved in a lease auction of about 390,000 acres off the coast of Massachusetts for the development of offshore wind energy had drawn a record $405 million in winning bids.

Vineyard Wind joined two other offshore wind companies in the purchase, Equinor Wind and Mayflower Wind Energy, paying $135 million each for approximately 132,000 acres of development space.

If fully developed, the areas could generate about 4.1 gigawatts of energy — enough to power nearly 1.5 million homes.

“There really is an overwhelming imperative to start taking concrete steps to build projects that are necessary to change the inputs in our power system from carbon based fuels to alternatives projects,” Gottlieb added.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Friday the auction was the nation’s eighth competitive lease sale for the development of offshore wind projects and smashed the previous record of $42 million for an area off New York in 2016.

The areas are located about 20 miles from Martha’s Vineyard and 44 miles from Block Island.

“I just want to say how honored and proud and excited we are with your endorsement today. We very much appreciate it. It’s not one that came lightly,” Vineyard Wind Chief Development Officer Erich Stephens said before taking questions from the media.

The APCC said the recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicting dire consequences unless world governments and private businesses commit to radical changes that significantly reduce carbon emissions underscored the need for immediate action and prompted them to take a public stand to endorse Vineyard Wind.

The environmental organization has saidin its written comments on the project that two key issue areas are the protection of marine mammals, especially North Atlantic right whales, and the protection of groundwater at the site of the project’s proposed substation in Barnstable.

By TIM DUNN, CapeCod.com News Center

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