Vineyard Wind seeks overturn of 'flawed' cable rejection

US 800MW offshore project asks Massachusetts state body to overrule setback from local officials

The developer of Vineyard Wind has asked Massachusetts state officials to overturn what it called a “flawed and inconsistent” decision by a local authority denying consent for an export cable for the 800MW offshore wind farm.

Members of the Edgartown Conservation Commission last week threw a roadblock in the way of plans for the first large-scale US offshore wind project when they voted against plans for the undersea cabling, citing fears among local fishermen.

Vineyard Wind is on a tight timetable as it races to enter full service off Massachusetts by the end of 2021, maximising the benefits it can extract from the investment tax credit (ITC) federal incentive for co-owners Avangrid and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners.

The project company said: “We are disappointed in the Commission’s decision, which was flawed, inconsistent with the evidence before it, and in contrast to the conclusions of many other regulatory authorities. Vineyard Wind unfortunately has no choice but to request a superseding order from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.”

Double setback for first major US offshore wind farm

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Vineyard Wind added that it is “confident that a thoughtful deliberation of the wealth of available scientific information regarding the project will convince the DEP to issue an order of conditions that ensures local environmental protections while advancing a project that is poised to make a difference in an era of global climate crisis that is impacting New England’s shoreline and fisheries”.

The Edgartown verdict was one of two setbacks to the project’s smooth running last week. The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) delayed issuing Vineyard Wind’s final EIS, a key document under federal environmental law.

Vineyard said of that decision: “We understand that, as the first commercial scale offshore wind project in the US, the Vineyard Wind project will undergo extraordinary review before receiving approvals.”

The project already has a number of permits in the bag, and has lined up an array of suppliers from the global offshore wind sector including MHI Vestas, which is due to deliver its 9.5MW turbines.

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