The Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB), an independent state board responsible for review of proposed large energy facilities, today approved petitions filed by Vineyard Wind for construction and operation of electric transmission facilities within the Commonwealth that will deliver 800 megawatts (MW) of clean, renewable offshore wind energy to the regional power grid. Approval of the project’s transmission cables and interconnection substation by the EFSB, which administered by Department of Public Utilities (DPU) staff and chaired by the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs, represents another significant milestone in the development of the United States’ first commercial-scale offshore wind generation facility.
“Approval by the Massachusetts EFSB is another affirmation of the collaborative, community-focused approach that Vineyard Wind has taken in designing and developing the nation’s first commercial scale offshore wind project,” said Erich Stephens, Chief Development Officer of Vineyard Wind. “We want to thank the residents and officials of the Town of Barnstable who took the time to explore opportunities to address local concerns while simultaneously delivering enough cost-competitive, carbon-free energy to serve six percent of the Commonwealth’s electricity demand, making the project a real win-win-win.”
“Today’s decision is another critical step forward as Vineyard Wind moves toward beginning on-shore construction later this year,” said Laura Beane, President and CEO of Avangrid Renewables, a partner in the Vineyard Wind joint venture. “The future of the American offshore wind energy industry is rising in Massachusetts thanks to the commitment of many stakeholders to deliver competitive solutions to climate change, and we remain committed to delivering environmental benefits and economic opportunity through our investment.”
“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,” said Michael Hannibal, Partner with Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners. “Vineyard Wind’s diligent efforts to develop America’s first commercial-scale offshore wind project are centered around a firm commitment to work closely with stakeholders at the state, local, regional and national levels.”
In April, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities approved long-term power purchase contracts between Vineyard Wind and Massachusetts’ electric distribution companies (EDCs) for the delivery of 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 (BOEM), the 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 on-shore construction in 2019 and become operational by 2021.