Offshore Wind Project Reaches Permitting Milestone

OAK BLUFFS – Vineyard Wind and lawmakers both reacted positively to the announcement that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has released the Final Environmental Impact Statement.

It’s part of the final steps in the federal permitting process for the offshore wind farm.

The Vineyard Wind 1 project would be the first utility-scale wind power of its kind in federal waters.

Once completed, it is expected to be able to produce enough electricity to power 400,000 homes.

“We want to thank BOEM for all of the work they’ve done since we submitted the permit application in December of 2017 on this first-in-the-nation project,” said Vineyard Wind CEO Lars T. Pedersen in a statement.

“More than three years of federal review and public comment is nearing its conclusion and 2021 is poised to be a momentous year for our project and the broader offshore wind industry.”

Pedersen said that offshore wind is an emerging industry that will lead to the creation of thousands of jobs, reduce electricity rates for consumers and contribute significantly to reducing the impacts of climate change.

The project is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1.68 million metric tons annually, the equivalent to taking 325,000 cars off the road each year. 

Ninth District Congressman and Chairman of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee on the House Foreign Affairs Committee Bill Keating said that the finished Environmental Impact Statement is a major step forward for the project.

“Vineyard Wind represents the first, large scale wind project in the United States, and Southeastern Massachusetts has been laying the groundwork for years to lead an offshore wind in the same way our region has lead for decades on marine research,” said Keating in a statement.

Keating represents Cape Cod, the Islands and much of southeastern Massachusetts.

“The release of this environmental review not only represents a leap forward for the Vineyard Wind project itself, but also a clear message for the stakeholders who have invested so much to make sure that the offshore wind industry has the educated workforce and facilities required to thrive here in Massachusetts.”

The Vineyard Wind 1 project has received all relevant permits required by the state as well as regional and local bodies.

Vineyard Wind said that it is expected to reach financial close in the second half of 2021 and will begin delivering energy to Massachusetts in 2023.


About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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