Racked and ready: MHI Vestas turbine components in Esbjerg, Denmark. (Credit: MHI Vestas)

A Silver Lining in Vineyard Wind’s Delay?

Offshore wind farm’s setback is frustrating for a restless industry. But it could help to avoid the death-by-lawsuit fate of Cape Wind.

The delay to Vineyard Wind’s Massachusetts offshore wind project has meant logistical migraines for the companies involved and uncertainty over the timing of the U.S. market’s long-awaited liftoff.

One possible upside? The additional scrutiny makes it less likely that Vineyard or other future projects will be brought to their knees by endless lawsuits, like Cape Wind was earlier this decade.

On the cusp of blossoming into a multi-gigawatt annual market along the East Coast, the U.S. offshore wind industry remains deeply frustrated by the Interior Department’s unexpected decision this summer to impose additional “cumulative impacts” studies on Vineyard’s project.

The 800-megawatt wind farm was due for completion in two phases in 2021-2022 south of Martha’s Vineyard, transforming a market with just 30 megawatts installed.

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