Offshore Wind Advances, BOEM Extends Comment Deadline for Vineyard Wind
On December 7, 2018, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) published a Notice of Availability for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Construction and Operations Plan (COP) submitted by Vineyard Wind, which holds a federal wind energy lease on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) approximately 14 miles southwest of Martha’s Vineyard. The COP proposes to develop about of half of Vineyard Wind’s approximately 167,000-acre lease with up to 100 wind turbine generators and up to two electrical platforms, which are anticipated to generate approximately 800 MW of electricity.
BOEM prepared the DEIS to evaluate the reasonably foreseeable environmental impacts associated with the proposed project and alternatives. BOEM will incorporate the public comments and input received on the DEIS into a Final EIS, which will be used to approve, approve with modifications, or deny the proposed project. See 30 C.F.R. § 585.628. This is the first EIS BOEM has prepared for a commercial offshore wind project since the Cape Wind project in 2010, and BOEM’s authorization of Vineyard Wind’s COP would effectively green-light the nations’ first large-scale commercial offshore wind farm.
Vineyard Wind is jointly owned by Avangrid Renewables and funds of Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners.
Due to the recent government shutdown, BOEM reopened and extended the public comment period for the Vineyard Wind DEIS. Comments are now due on or before February 22, 2019. BOEM also has rescheduled five public hearings on the Vineyard Wind DEIS. The rescheduled public hearings are as follows:
- February 11: Nantucket, MA;
- February 12: Vineyard Haven, MA;
- February 13: Hyannis, MA;
- February 14: New Bedford, MA; and
- February 15: Narragansett, RI.
Complete details regarding the COP, DEIS, public hearings, and how to submit comments are available on BOEM's website.