Vineyard Wind announced today that it has submitted the project’s Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Report (SDEIR) to the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act Office (MEPA.) The latest report will further ensure that members of public have ample opportunity to provide input about the United States’ first large-scale offshore wind farm.
The SDEIR filing captures additional project refinements following the award and negotiation of long-term contracts with Massachusetts’ electric distribution companies (EDCs) for construction of an 800-megawatt (MW) wind farm 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard.
Vineyard Wind remains on schedule to begin site construction in 2019 and become operational by 2021. When Vineyard Wind’s project is completed, it will reduce Massachusetts’ carbon emissions by over 1.6 million tons per year, the equivalent of removing 325,000 cars from state roads.
The SDEIR incorporates additional offshore studies conducted during the spring and summer. These additional marine surveys provided even more detail about the project’s offshore cable route, including Lewis Bay, with Vineyard Wind’s oceanographic survey of Lewis Bay thought to be among the most comprehensive and detailed studies of Lewis Bay ever undertaken. Additional data will further inform the constructive dialogue that Vineyard Wind has engaged with a range of stakeholders, including Cape Cod residents, state and federal agencies and a variety of advocacy groups, including environmental advocates, fishermen and natural resource regulators and managers. Public comment to the SDEIR should be submitted by October 5, 2018 to [email protected] or via the U.S. Postal Service to:
Mr. Matthew Beaton, Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs
Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA)
Attn: MEPA Office
Purvi Patel, EEA No. 15787 (Vineyard Wind Connector)
100 Cambridge Street, Suite 900
Boston MA 02114
During the SDEIR public comment period, Vineyard Wind will be available to discuss details of the comprehensive report and assist interested parties who have questions about the document. The project’s SDEIR is available at www.vineyardwind.com. It is also available for review at the following public libraries:
Starting in January of this year with filing of the project’s initial Environmental Notification Form (ENF) and the subsequent submission of an initial DEIR in May, Vineyard Wind has continued to refine the project design in response to public comment from regulators and stakeholders. Throughout these processes, Vineyard Wind has received substantive, productive remarks from the fishing industry, residents on Cape Cod and the Islands, environmental organizations, as well as regional economic and community-based stakeholders.
The proposed Vineyard Wind Connector project is comprised of subsea and subsurface electrical transmission lines and a new substation that will connect the Vineyard Wind turbine array to the Massachusetts electric grid. The Vineyard Wind offshore wind turbine array, located in the federal waters south of Martha’s Vineyard and approximately 34 miles south of the Cape Cod mainland, calls for a grid connection point to an existing substation in an industrial park in Barnstable with no changes to the existing electrical transmission system. Vineyard Wind has pledged to use solid material cables only that will be buried for their entire length. Transformers and other electrical equipment at the new substation will be underlain by full volume, impervious containment systems.
In addition to federal and state permitting reviews, the project is actively consulting with tribal and local agencies, including the Conservation Commission and Planning Boards of the Towns of Barnstable and Yarmouth. The project will also be reviewed by the Cape Cod Commission. In total the Vineyard Wind project will face substantial public review and consultations by nearly 30 federal, tribal, state, and local approval agencies, including from the Army Corps of Engineers, National Marine Fisheries Service, the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board, Massachusetts DEP and CZM, the Cape Cod Commission and local conservation commissions. Vineyard Wind also continues to engage in active conversations with the Wampanoag tribes.