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Vineyard Wind offers concessions to fishermen, environmentalists

Vineyard Wind officials are not waiting for federal officials to return to their desks: The company has reached an agreement with environmental groups to protect North Atlantic right whales and has offered Rhode Island fishermen a $6.3 million deal to compensate them for any economic damages they may incur from the wind farm’s construction and operations.

“We have not voted yet,” said Lanny Dellinger, chairman of a fisheries advisory board of the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council. “We are currently in the process of reviewing (the Vineyard Wind) proposal.”

On both fronts the company’s intention, in part, is to pave a smooth path for the 800-megawatt wind farm project planned south of Martha’s Vineyard, which is on a tight schedule to take advantage of federal investment tax credits that are expiring at the end of the year.

The 84-turbine wind farm is expected to deliver enough electricity to power about 400,000 homes in Massachusetts via an underwater, high-voltage cable that will land on a Barnstable beach, company officials said. As planned, it could be the nation’s first industrial-size offshore wind project.

“Throughout development of the project, Vineyard Wind has strived to work with all stakeholders to proactively resolve potential issues and design the best project possible,” the company’s chief development officer, Erich Stephens, said about the right whale initiative specifically.

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