September 5 (Renewables Now) - The Vineyard Wind offshore wind project in the US has filed a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Report (SDEIR) with the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act Office (MEPA), according to an announcement on Tuesday, which also confirmed that the project stays on schedule to start site construction in 2019 and become operational by 2021.
Vineyard Wind, a 50/50 partnership between Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) and Avangrid Renewables LLC, was in May selected as the winner in Massachusetts' offshore wind solicitation to build an 800-MW wind farm 15 miles (24 km) south of Martha's Vineyard.
It said that the SDEIR includes additional project refinements following the award and negotiation of contracts with Massachusetts' electric distribution companies, as well as additional offshore studies performed during the spring and summer that provided more detail about the project's offshore cable route. The project company added the additional data will further inform the dialogue it has engaged with a range of stakeholders, including Cape Cod residents, state and federal agencies and various advocacy groups. The deadline for public comment on the SDEIR is October 5.
According to the announcement, the project will overall be subject to public review and consultations by almost 30 federal, tribal, state, and local approval agencies.
Vineyard Wind said it has been refining the project design in response to feedback from regulators and stakeholders since filing the initial Environmental Notification Form (ENF) in January and the initial DEIR in May.
The SDEIR submission comes after in June MEPA requested extended public comment and a supplemental filing to the DEIR. "By incorporating additional input now, we can front load work that had been scheduled for later in the year as part of the Final EIR while also facilitating review by local and regional agencies," Erich Stephens, chief development officer with Vineyard Wind, said then.