The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will resume the environmental review of Vineyard Wind, the first offshore wind project in the U.S., to be located off the coasts of Massachusetts.
This Wednesday, the BOEM issued a letter in which announced its intentions to resume the environmental review of the project, in support to president Joe Biden’s goal to address climate change.
“Offshore wind has the potential to help our nation combat climate change; therefore, improve resilience through reliable power, and spur economic development to create good-paying jobs,” said BOEM director Amanda Lefton.
“Indeed, BOEM is committed to conducting a robust and timely review of the proposed project,” she concluded.
As we reported previously, in late December, Vineyard Wind requested a pause in the federal permitting process, while the company determined if changes in design were necessary.
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BOEM to determine final environmental impact review
The project had changed turbine manufacturers, and it could have prompted some changes and delays. Then, BOEM determined to terminate its review.
Then in mid-January, Avangrid submitted a new construction plan for the long-delayed project. Avangrid, the American subsidiary of Spanish giant Iberdrola, is in charge with Vineyard Wind, along with Denmark’s Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners.
The original plan from Vineyard Wind was to start onshore construction in 2019; then, put the first turbine in the seabed in 2021; and finally, to have the 84-turbine wind farm installed by 2022. Still, as of now, the project is more than a year behind schedule.
With an 800-megawatt potency, Vineyard Wind will provide enough power for 400,000 homes and businesses of the state. In addition, in early December, 2020, the company announced it had partnered with GE for the procurement of Haliade X turbines for the farm; which was celebrated by the industry.
In regards to the new permitting process, the company said in a statement: “We look forward to working with the agency as we launch an industry that will create thousands of good paying jobs; while also taking meaningful steps to reduce the impact of climate change.”