BOEM completes environment analysis of Vineyard Wind project

Published on March 10, 2021 by Dave Kovaleski

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The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) finished the environmental analysis of the proposed Vineyard Wind I offshore wind project this week.

Vineyard Wind is looking to develop an 800-megawatt wind energy project off the coast of Massachusetts, about 12 nautical miles from Martha’s Vineyard. If approved, it would be the first commercial-scale offshore wind project in the country.

“The United States is poised to become a global clean energy leader,” Laura Daniel Davis, principal deputy assistant secretary – land and minerals management, at the Department of the Interior, said. “To realize the full environmental and economic benefits of offshore wind, we must work together to ensure all potential development is advanced with robust stakeholder outreach and scientific integrity.”

As the next step in the process, BOEM will publish a Notice of Availability for the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in the Federal Register, which analyzes the potential environmental impacts of deciding on Vineyard Wind’s Construction and Operation Plan.

“Offshore energy development provides an opportunity for us to work with Tribal nations, communities, and other ocean users to ensure all decisions are transparent and utilize the best available science,” BOEM Director Amanda Lefton said. “We appreciate everyone’s participation in the process and look forward to continuing to work with stakeholders on the future analysis of offshore wind projects.”

The Final EIS includes comments and suggestions received during the 45-day comment period and five virtual public meetings conducted last year.

“By any measure, this is a breakthrough for offshore wind energy in the United States. Not even two months into a new Administration, years of delay have finally culminated in a thorough analysis that should soon put this infrastructure investment on its way to generating clean power for the region and creating good jobs at home,” Heather Zichal, CEO of the American Clean Power Association, said. “We enthusiastically applaud the Biden Administration for completing a thorough analysis and moving ahead rapidly with the final steps to approve the Vineyard Wind project. This is how we catch up to our global competitors and harness a clean energy source for American communities.”