Orsted and Eversource's up to 800MW Bay State Wind offshore wind scheme off the Massachusetts coast has been given special status for permitting purposes.

The project has been designated as covered under Title 41 of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (Fast-41), which came into law in 2015.

The legislation created new procedures and governance for federal environmental permit reviews and authorisations for covered infrastructure projects.

The Fast-41 permitting process will “encourage greater efficiencies and time savings in navigating the federal permitting process”, the developers said. 

Eversource vice president of business development Mike Ausere said: “This covered project status will de-risk the permitting process and enhance the likelihood that we will receive our permit authorisation on the timeline indicated in our bid.”

The developers submitted a bid for the project in December in response to Massachusetts' 800MW offshore call.

Other bids were received from Deepwater Wind and from the Vineyard Wind joint venture between Avangrid Renewables and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners. The winners are expected to be announced in April.

Bay State is the first offshore wind farm and one of only 38 infrastructure projects to achieve Fast-41 status, Orsted and Eversource said.

Image: Orsted