America’s first commercial-scale offshore wind energy project has secured approval to construct the transmission facilities that will transmit power from it to the regional power grid.
The Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB), an independent state board responsible for reviewing proposed large energy facilities, approved petitions filed by Vineyard Wind for transmission facilities within the Commonwealth.
Vineyard Wind LLC is the offshore wind development company responsible for the project and is 50% owned by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and 50% by Avangrid Renewables.
Approval of the project’s transmission cables and interconnection substation by the EFSB is another important milestone in the development of the offshore windfarm.
Vineyard Wind chief development officer Erich Stephens said, “Approval by the Massachusetts EFSB is another affirmation of the collaborative, community-focused approach that Vineyard Wind has taken in designing and developing this first commercial-scale offshore wind project in the US.”
Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners partner Michael Hannibal said, “The EFSB’s decision is another example of how the global offshore wind experience and expertise of Vineyard Wind’s joint venture partners, coupled with the local knowledge from our growing team, is able to design and deliver a great project for Massachusetts, and create new economic growth and opportunity for the Commonwealth.
In April, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities approved long-term power purchase contracts between Vineyard Wind and Massachusetts’ electric distribution companies to deliver clean offshore wind energy.
The project continues to move ahead with public and regulatory review through more than 25 federal, state, and local approval processes. These include US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, US Army Corps of Engineers, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, the Cape Cod Commission, the Martha’s Vineyard Commission, and local conservation commissions.
Vineyard Wind remains on schedule to begin onshore construction in 2019 and become operational by 2021.