BOEM starts Vineyard Wind South environmental review

Written by Nick Blenkey
BOEM Diector Amanda Lefton

BOEM Director Amanda Lefton: “By moving forward on this environmental review, we are making progress toward confronting climate change.”

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) said yesterday that it will begin conducting an environmental review of a Construction and Operations Plan (COP) submitted by Vineyard Wind LLC, for its Vineyard Wind South offshore wind project.

This comes after BOEM last moth granted approval for construction and ooperation of the Vineyard Wind I project.

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

“The Biden-Harris administration has set an ambitious target of 30 gigawatts 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.”

If approved by BOEM, Vineyard Wind would be allowed to construct and operate an approximately 2,000 to 2,300 megawatt wind energy facility offshore Rhode Island and Massachusetts, which would be developed in phases. Phase One of the project, called “Park City Wind,” would contribute to Connecticut’s mandate of 2,000 megawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030, through Vineyard Wind’s 804 megawatt power purchase agreement with Connecticut’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority.

The publication of the Notice of Intent (NoI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) opens a 30-day public comment period. During this time, BOEM will hold three virtual public scoping meetings and accept comments to inform the preparation of the EIS.

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

BOEM’s scoping process is intended to identify what should be considered in the EIS. Throughout the scoping process, there will be multiple opportunities to help BOEM determine the important resources and issues, reasonable alternatives, and potential mitigation measures to be analyzed in the EIS.

The 30-day public comment period extends through 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on July 30, 2021. BOEM’s virtual scoping meetings will be held at the following dates and times (Eastern):

Monday, July 19, 5:30 p.m.
Friday, July 23, 1:00 p.m.
Monday, July 26, 5:30 p.m.
Registration for the virtual public meetings can be completed here: https://www.boem.gov/Vineyard-Wind-South-Scoping-Virtual-Meetings.

If approved, the Vineyard Wind South project will be located about 20 statute miles offshore the southwestern corner of Martha’s Vineyard and 24 statute miles offshore Nantucket.

Detailed information about the proposed wind energy facility, and how to comment, can be found HERE.

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