US federal government completes environmental review of proposed 800MW wind farm off Massachusetts

Photo: Vineyard Wind

The US federal government, through the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), has completed the environmental analysis of the proposed Vineyard Wind One offshore wind project in the waters off Massachusetts.

Vineyard Wind is proposing what is expected to be the first project developed in their lease area, an 800MW wind energy project located approximately 12 nautical miles offshore Martha’s Vineyard and 12 nautical miles offshore Nantucket. If approved, it would be the first commercial-scale offshore wind project in the United States.

Later this week, the BOEM will publish a notice of availability for the final environmental impact statement (EIS) in the Federal Register, which analyses the potential environmental impacts of making a decision on Vineyard Wind’s construction and operation plan.

On June 12, 2020, as a result of comments received during the National Environmental Policy Act process and in coordination with cooperating agencies, the draft EIS was supplemented with additional analysis. Additional areas of analysis included reasonably foreseeable effects from an expanded cumulative activities scenario for offshore wind development, previously unavailable fishing data, a new transit lane alternative, and changes since publication of the draft EIS to the proposed project.

Following a 45-day comment period and five virtual public meetings, BOEM incorporated comments received on the draft EIS and the supplemental analysis into the final EIS.

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