Project Update: Massachusetts Agency Certifies Supplemental Environmental Impact Report

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Project Update: Massachusetts Agency Certifies Supplemental Environmental Impact Report

MEPA approval allows Vineyard Wind to move forward with Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR)

(New Bedford, MA; October 19, 2018) – The Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) Office has issued a Certificate allowing Vineyard Wind to file a Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) for the Vineyard Wind Connector--  an entirely underground power line system that will deliver clean energy from a 800-megawatt (MW) wind farm located over 30 miles from Cape Cod. The approval of Vineyard Wind’s Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Report (SDEIR) advances the nation’s first commercial-scale offshore wind project to the final phase of the state’s environmental review process.

“This MEPA approval brings Massachusetts yet another step closer to realizing the tremendous environmental and economic benefits associated with offshore wind,” said Erich Stephens, Chief Development Officer at Vineyard Wind. “We appreciate the valuable input from various communities on Cape Cod, local residents, and environmental advocates. This feedback guided our work to ensure that the Vineyard Wind Connector project delivers the highest level of environmental protection for local resources while meeting the broader goal of reducing global impacts associated with climate change.”

MEPA review of the Vineyard Wind Connector includes offshore submarine transmission cables, onshore underground transmission cables, and an onshore substation. During the SDEIR process Vineyard Wind reduced the number of transmission cables, streamlined construction plans, and provided further information to confirm the substation design far exceeds ground water protections of existing substations on the Cape. .

Vineyard Wind’s subsea and underground electrical transmission lines will connect to the Massachusetts electric grid at a new substation sited alongside an existing substation in an industrial park in Barnstable. No changes to the existing electrical transmission system will be required. Vineyard Wind has stipulated that solid dielectric cables will be buried for their entire length and that transformers and other electrical equipment at the new substation will be underlain by full volume, impervious fluid containment systems. 

In addition to MEPA review, the Vineyard Wind project continues to move ahead with public and regulatory review through more than 25 federal, state, and local approval processes. These include the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (federal Environmental Impact Statement), the Army Corps of Engineers, the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board, Massachusetts DEP and CZM, the Cape Cod Commission and local conservation commissions.

Vineyard Wind was selected in May 2018 as the sole developer to negotiate 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; these contracts have now been signed and are pending before the Department of Public Utilities for approval. Vineyard Wind remains on schedule to begin site construction in 2019 and become operational by 2021.

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About Vineyard Wind

Vineyard Wind LLC is an offshore wind development company seeking to build the first large-scale offshore wind energy project in the US, to be located 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard. Vineyard Wind, based in New Bedford, Massachusetts, is 50 percent owned by funds of Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) and 50 percent by Avangrid Renewables. For more information, visit www.vineyardwind.com.

Vineyard Wind Press Contact: Scott Farmelant, 617-939-6582, scott@millspr.com


Lauren Fowler