US solar co challenges govt's approval of Vineyard Wind project

Image via Flickr/Joe Gratz (CC0 1.0)

July 27 (Renewables Now) - Solar energy company Allco Renewable Energy Ltd has filed legal action against the US Department of the Interior’s (DOI’s) approval of the 800-MW Vineyard Wind project, set to be the first commercial-scale offshore wind farm in the US.

The New York-based company, represented by its senior general counsel Thomas Melone, last week filed a complaint with the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts, demanding “declaratory and injunctive relief.” The plaintiff insists that the project approval is revoked as it is in breach of the National Environmental Policy Act, the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

According to Allco, the project is posing a major hazard to the domestic fishing industry and protected marine species, while it could pollute nearby waters in the event of adverse weather conditions such as strong hurricanes. The company states that the DOI has failed to take into account the project’s cumulative impacts on the environment and whether it satisfies the public interest requirements.

The full list of its complaints is available here: https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/legaldocs/gjnpwqqnwpw/energy-wind-allco.pdf

The renewables unit of Avangrid Inc (NYSE:AGR), namely Avangrid Renewables, and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) are developers and co-owners of the Vineyard Wind project. In May, they received the Record of Decision (ROD) from DOI, which was the final step in the federal review process.

Vineyard Wind calls for the installation of 62 Haliade-X turbines about 12 miles off both Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket in the northern portion of the lease area. The scheme is scheduled to reach financial close in the second half of 2021, with the complex due to start generating power in 2023.

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Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.

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