November 22 (Renewables Now) - A Rhode Island fishing board has denied permission to the 800-MW Vineyard wind project off Rhode Island and Massachusetts, creating a major hurdle in the approval process, the Providence Journal reports.
With an unanimous vote, the Fishermen’s Advisory Board, which advises the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council, has refused to grant its consent to the project on concerns that its wind turbines will harm fishing grounds in Rhode Island. The project will now undergo review by the state’s coastal council, scheduled for November 27, to get the so-called “consistency certification.”
Vineyard Wind, a 50/50 partnership between Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) and Avangrid Renewables LLC, has asked for a stay in proceedings but its demand was not accepted. The main concern regarding the USD-2-billion (EUR 1.75bn) project, according to the fishing industry, is the layout of the turbines. Vineyard Wind has agreed to a partial reconfiguration of the machines that includes cutting the turbine count and using larger turbines, while time presses the company as it plans to start construction next year so as to qualify for federal tax credits.
Vineyard Wind in May won Massachusetts’s solicitation to deliver up to 800 MW of offshore wind capacity and is competing to secure a second contract for up to 350 MW in Rhode Island.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.877)