Statement: Vineyard Winds clears important federal hurdle on path to major offshore wind farm project
WASHINGTON -- Vineyard Wind's offshore wind project received a huge boost Monday when the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management (BOEM) completed its final environmental impact statement (FEIS), which is a big step toward commencing construction on the first commercial-scale offshore wind farm in the United States. The 800-megawatt project, known as Vineyard Wind 1, is slated to begin operating in 2023 off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard with the capacity to power 400,000 homes. The FEIS serves as an evaluation of the project’s Construction and Operations Plan (COP) and is the second-to-last step in a long permitting process that the project has been undergoing for years. BOEM is set to publish notice of the FEIS in the Federal Register later this week.
Having published the FEIS, BOEM will have a minimum of 30 days to issue the Record of Decision, thus completing its review of the project. The project could get the green light as early as April.
In response, Environment America Research and Policy Center’s Go Big on Offshore Wind Associate Hannah Read released the following statement:
“We applaud the Biden administration for helping clear the way on this project. This action shows a commitment to prioritizing renewable energy’s timely development. Offshore wind has been sitting on the back burner for too long, and the advancement of Vineyard Wind 1 reflects an important step toward it taking a key place as a major contributor to our electricity supply. We are on the brink of unlocking an incredible amount of renewable energy potential, and this is just the beginning.
“Vineyard Wind is one of many offshore wind projects undergoing BOEM’s review process, and with any luck its final approval in the near future will set off a domino effect. Many states have made commitments to getting energy from offshore wind, and Vineyard Winds’ imminent success should spur efforts up and down the Atlantic Coast to lean in on this vital technology. The possibility of having more homes powered by offshore wind in just a few years is a thrilling opportunity, and we’ve never gotten this close before. We’re not fully there yet -- but we’re getting that much closer to the type of a renewable energy future that can make the world a better place.”
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