With 22 Fewer Turbines, Vineyard Wind Hopes to Resume Federal Approval Process
Less than a week after the inauguration, Vineyard Wind is asking the federal government to resume the permitting process for its offshore wind farm 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard.
The company withdrew its application in December, saying it wanted to conduct a review after switching to larger turbines.
On Monday, CEO Lars Pedersen said he sees no reason the feds can’t pick up where they left off.
“At least in our opinion, all the data is there for them to make a decision,” he said. “There is precedent that other projects have ... had a similar process.”
He has not directly discussed the project with the Biden administration, but he hopes the administration can complete the National Environmental Policy Act process by mid year, he said.
“It was a decision we didn't make lightly when we decided [to do] early withdrawal,” Pedersen said. “But we feel pretty confident that NEPA is about assessing the impact of a project, not following a particular process.”
Vineyard Wind did not make any changes to the application, he said. The company plans to start offshore construction in 2022.
The wind farm, Vineyard Wind 1, could generate enough power for more than 400,000 homes, starting in late 2023.
Some commercial fishermen say wind farms will displace them from important fishing grounds.
The larger turbines mean Vineyard Wind can fulfill its 800-megawatt contract with 62 turbines instead of the previous 84.