Vineyard clinches cable coup
Preliminary certificate issued for 800MW US project's transmission plan
Vineyard Wind has completed the first step of a multi-phase approval process for a subsea transmission system to interconnect its proposed 800MW offshore wind farm in the US.
The Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) office has issued a preliminary certificate which outlines potential impacts and issues, allowing the agency to move ahead with a draft environmental impact report.
Vineyard, owned by a Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Avangrid joint venture, expects the report to be issued this spring. It will be subject to additional comment.
Vineyard chief development officer Erich Stephens said: “Based on a preliminary review of the ENF certificate, we remain confident that we will address all concerns regarding short-term impacts associated with construction of the Vineyard Wind Connector while demonstrating that there will be no significant long-term impacts to the local environment.”
The proposed transmission system includes subsea and subsurface cables and a new substation at an existing electrical facility in Barnstable.
In addition to MEPA review, different aspects of the entire Vineyard wind project will face substantial public scrutiny through more than 25 federal, state and local approval processes, including from 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.
Massachusetts officials expect to award offshore wind power purchase agreements in late April.
If successful, the developers plan to start construction in 2019 and commission the Vineyard wind farm in 2021.