Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has urged the Trump administration to enable the first commercial-scale offshore wind project in the US to go ahead as quickly as possible
Senator Warren, one of the leading Democrat candidates in the 2020 Presidential race, highlighted that the Vineyard Wind project “will create thousands of jobs and generate cleaner, cheaper wind energy for families in Massachusetts.
“The Trump administration should work towards a solution that will protect the environment, address local fishermen’s concerns and allow the project to move forward without delay,” she said in a tweet.
Along with another Democrat Presidential hopeful, New Jersey’s Cory Booker, Senator Warren is a co-sponsor of the Offshore Wind Incentives for New Development (WIND) Act, which aims to extend the Investment Tax Credit for offshore wind through 2025.
Vineyard Wind’s shareholders – Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Avangrid Renewables – have affirmed a commitment to deliver the proposed 800-MW offshore windfarm off the coast of Massachusetts. The companies said they plan to press ahead with the project, despite no longer being able to meet the original schedule after the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), part of the Department of Interior, said it wanted to undertake a supplementary environmental assessment of the project – and other windfarms – following opposition from the fishing community.
On 9 August BOEM said it would delay publication of Vineyard Wind’s final environmental impact statement (EIS) and undertake the supplemental draft EIS. The delay followed concerns expressed by representatives of the fishing industry about offshore wind development, particularly regarding turbine spacing and orientation.
BOEM said it believes the supplemental process is needed to examine the effects from the many offshore wind projects expected to follow the Vineyard Wind project.
In a statement about the process, BOEM said, “Comments received from stakeholders and co-operating agencies requested a more robust cumulative analysis. Considering such comments and taking into account recent state offshore wind procurement announcements, BOEM is expanding its cumulative analysis of projects within its draft environmental impact statement.
“Because BOEM has determined that a greater build out of offshore wind capacity is foreseeable than was analysed in the initial draft EIS, BOEM has decided to supplement the draft EIS and solicit comments on its revised cumulative impacts analysis.”