BOEM launches Vineyard Wind South’s environmental review

Public comment sought on up to 2.3GW offshore wind project off Rhode Island and Massachusetts

Vineyard Wind South's developers have previously invested in offshore wind farms around the world, including Veja Mate off Germany (pic credit: Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners)
Vineyard Wind South's developers have previously invested in offshore wind farms around the world, including Veja Mate off Germany (pic credit: Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners)

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The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has announced it will be conducting an environmental review of a construction and operations plan (COP) for the Vineyard Wind South offshore wind project.

If the plan is approved, developer Vineyard Wind LLC –  a joint venture of Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Avangrid Renewables – will be allowed to construct and operate a 2-2.3GW wind farm off Rhode Island and Massachusetts, on the eastern coast of the US, 32km offshore from the southwestern corner of Martha’s Vineyard and 38km offshore from Nantucket.

The proposed Vineyard Wind South project includes up to 130 wind turbines with inter-array cables, two to five offshore substations, and up to five export cables connecting to the onshore electric grid in Barnstable County, Massachusetts at up to three onshore substations.

It would be developed in three phases. Phase one, called Park City Wind, has a power purchase agreement (PPA) in place with Connecticut’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority for output from 804MW of capacity. This would count towards Connecticut’s mandate to source power from 2GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030.

The Department of the Interior’s BOEM manages energy and mineral resources on the US Outer Continental Shelf. Publication by BOEM of a notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) opens a 30-day public comment period, during which the agency will also hold three virtual public scoping meetings.

Through its scoping process, BOEM seeks to identify what should be considered in the EIS, including alternative solutions and potential mitigation measures.

“The Biden-Harris administration has set an ambitious target of 30GW of installed offshore wind energy by 2030, which will create nearly 80,000 jobs,” said BOEM director Amanda Lefton.

“By moving forward on this environmental review, we are making progress toward confronting climate change, creating good-paying jobs, and beginning the nation’s transition to a cleaner energy future.”

Earlier this year, the US government gave the go-ahead for Vineyard Wind’s eponymous project, which is due to be the country’s first large-scale offshore wind farm.

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