MA - BOEM finalizes environmental statement on Vineyard Wind
Moving quickly on the Biden administration’s renewable energy agenda, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management completed its environmental review of the 800-megawatt Vineyard Wind plan, clearing the path for the first truly commercial-scale U.S. offshore wind project.
“The United States is poised to become a global clean energy leader,” said Laura Daniel Davis, a deputy assistant secretary in the Department of Interior, in announcing the step Monday. “To realize the full environmental and economic benefits of offshore wind, we must work together to ensure all potential development is advanced with robust stakeholder outreach and scientific integrity.”
Located about 15 nautical miles off Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., Vineyard Wind is viewed as a bellwether for the nascent U.S. offshore wind industry. Its rapid progress in recent weeks is a 180-degree turnaround from December, when Trump administration appointees at Interior moved to kill the permitting process.
Wind industry analysts have predicted BOEM approval would trigger new investment commitments to building out a U.S.-flag wind energy workboat fleet and East Coast port improvements to accommodate up to 15 other projects now in various planning stages.
For the fishing industry, the outcome of the Vineyard Wind approval is a critical test of how the Biden administration will handle its concerns going forward.
BOEM should “to at least hold public hearings explaining to the public how a private company can resume a project terminated by the federal government without further inquiry,” the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance said March 3 when the agency said it was moving ahead to complete the review.