Statement: BOEM decision to resume Vineyard Wind permitting process “a crucial step” towards tapping offshore wind potential
WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management (BOEM), which is the agency in charge of leasing and permitting for offshore wind, announced Wednesday its intention to resume the permitting process for Massachusetts-based project Vineyard Wind. The 800-megawatt project was put on pause in December because the builders upgraded to larger turbines and, as a result, decided to withdraw its Construction and Operations Plan (COP). With the Biden administration taking office, Vineyard Wind rescinded its withdrawal and requested that the process be resumed.
The decision to move forward with the environmental review comes on the heels of President Biden’s recent executive order calling on the Department of the Interior (DOI) to hasten the responsible development of renewable energy on public lands and waters. Newly appointed BOEM Director Amanda Lefton affirmed a commitment to the “robust and timely review” of the project. Now, BOEM will develop the Final Environmental Impact Statement before issuing its official decision. If approved, the project will be the first utility-scale offshore wind project in the country.
In response, Environment America Research and Policy Center’s Go Big on Offshore Wind Associate Hannah Read released the following statement:
“BOEM’s decision to resume the permitting process for Vineyard Wind is a crucial step in the effort to help America tap its vast offshore wind potential. Offshore wind is a powerful and reliable clean energy source that has an important role to play in the effort to repower America with 100 percent clean and renewable energy. Once developed, the Vineyard Wind project alone will power over 400,000 homes.
“Vineyard Wind is a pioneer in the U.S. offshore wind space, and its approval will open the door to other projects that will deliver renewable energy to American homes and businesses up and down our coasts. Prioritizing the timely and responsible development of offshore wind is paramount as states seek to set and reach ambitious clean energy goals. Giving this project the greenlight would be a tangible demonstration of the Biden administration’s commitment to accelerate the responsible development of renewable energy. We’ve never been closer to seizing the opportunity of offshore wind at scale, and we need to keep the momentum going. Let’s get Vineyard Wind over the finish line and start building the renewable energy future we need.”
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