Project Update: Final Environmental Impact Report Submitted to MA Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Final step of MEPA review process allows for public comment by Jan. 25, 2019

(New Bedford, MA; December 18, 2018) – Vineyard Wind today announced that it has submitted a Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA), taking a final step in the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) review process for the proposed 800 megawatt (MW) offshore wind generation and transmission project.

Vineyard Wind’s FEIR reflects refinements that have been made to the project, including many based on input from state agencies, the Town of Barnstable and members of the public.

Any member of the public who wishes to submit comments about the the FEIR can do so by email to Purvi.Patel@MassMail.State.MA.US or via the U.S. Postal Service to:

Mr. Matthew Beaton
Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs
Massachusetts 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

The deadline for public comment is January 25, 2019. Issuance of the Secretary’s Certificate is expected during February 2019.

Since submitting a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Report (SDEIR) in late August, Vineyard Wind has moved forward to obtain all necessary approvals by the summer of 2019.

Progress to date includes ongoing review of the Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) by the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) that is expected to conclude in March 2019; execution of a Host Community Agreement with the Town of Barnstable in October; completion of evidentiary hearings before the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board in October, with a Tentative Decision expected in March 2019 and Final Decision anticipated in early April 2019; execution of a lease with the 26-acre New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal in October to support construction of the Vineyard Wind project; and selection of MHI Vestas Offshore Wind as the preferred supplier of V164 9.5 MW offshore wind turbines for the project, which is the largest wind turbine generator currently available for installation.

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. Vineyard Wind has stipulated that they will use solid material cables only, and that they will be buried for their entire length onshore, and also that the 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 Conservation Commissions and Planning Boards, including Barnstable where the cable will come ashore at Covell’s Beach.  The project will also be reviewed by the Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard Commissions.

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 area Native American tribes.

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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