Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo today announced approval for the construction and operation of the Vineyard Wind project — the first large-scale, offshore wind project in the United States.
The 800-megawatt Vineyard Wind energy project is a joint venture between Avangrid Renewables and Copenhagen Infrastructures. The project will be located approximately 12 nautical miles offshore Martha’s Vineyard and 12 nautical miles offshore Nantucket in the northern portion of Vineyard Wind’s lease area. It will create 3,600 jobs and provide enough power for 400,000 homes and businesses.
As we reported earlier Vineyard Wind has selected a partnership of DEME Offshore US LLC and Foss Maritime for transportation and installation of the project’s wind turbines.
Today’s Record of Decision (ROD) grants Vineyard Wind final federal approval to install 84 or fewer turbines off Massachusetts as part of an 800-megawatt offshore wind energy facility. Turbines will be installed in an east-west orientation, and all the turbines will have a minimum spacing of 1 nautical mile between them in the north-south and east-west directions, consistent with the U.S. Coast Guard recommendations in the Final Massachusetts and Rhode Island Port Access Route Study.
The ROD adopts mitigation measures to help avoid, minimize, reduce, or eliminate adverse environmental effects that could result from the construction and operation of the proposed project.
“This project represents the power of a government-wide approach to offshore wind permitting, taking stakeholder ideas and concerns into consideration every step of the way,” said Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Director Amanda Lefton. “We will continue to advance new projects that will incorporate lessons learned from analyzing this project to ensure an efficient and predictable process for industry and stakeholders.”
The ROD is jointly signed by and addresses permitting decisions by BOEM, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the National Marine Fisheries Service within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Prior to construction, Vineyard Wind must submit a facility design report and a fabrication and installation report. These engineering and technical reports provide specific details for how the facility will be fabricated and installed in accordance with the approved Construction and Operations Plan.
Along with the 400,000 homes that will soon be powered by the Vineyard Wind project, an entire supply chain is ready to mobilize and get to work, providing Americans with thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of investment. American offshore wind is a generational opportunity, and its outlook is more certain with the Vineyard Wind Record of Decision.
National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) President Erik Milito called the decision an “American energy milestone.”
“NOIA applauds the Department of the Interior and President Biden for making offshore wind a priority,” he said. “President Biden can continue this offshore wind momentum through the continued permitting of projects in the queue and the implementation a regular and predictable timeline of future lease opportunities.”