January 24 (Renewables Now) - The developer of the 800-MW Vineyard project off the coast of Massachusetts has signed an agreement with three conservation groups to protect the critically endangered North Atlantic right whales.
The agreement with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the National Wildlife Federation and the Conservation Law Foundation, sealed on Wednesday, calls for Vineyard Wind to take a range of protective measures to keep right whales safe. As part of the plan, the developer will conduct close monitoring of the project’s area, limit construction activities during the winter and early spring when the species could be in the area and will also curb construction noise when whales are around.
Vineyard Wind, a 50/50 partnership between Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) and Avangrid Renewables LLC, intends to start building the wind farm 15 miles (24 km) south of Martha's Vineyard this year. The complex is expected to use 84 units of MHI Vestas’ V164-9.5 MW turbines and will generate electricity and renewable energy certificates (RECs) at a total levelised price of USD 0.065 (EUR 0.057) per kWh.
The project has two long-term contracts with Massachusetts’ electric distribution companies for each of its two 400-MW phases.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.879)