July 22 (Renewables Now) – The developer of the 800-MW Vineyard Wind offshore wind project in the US last week said the scheme may not be able to move forward in the current configuration if an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is not issued soon.
As previously announced, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has taken more time to prepare the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the project, but the company has been assured that there is no intention to prevent the offshore wind project from moving forward. Vineyard Wind LLC said it has informed BOEM that continuing with the project as it is currently configured would be “very challenging” if it is unable to secure the environmental permit within the next four to six weeks.
BOEM is still assessing the potential impacts of the project before releasing the FEIS. According to the project update by the developer, the agency will reach to the Secretary of the Interior, who will take final action. Vineyard Wind has also approached him directly with its concerns regarding the delay of the project.
Vineyard Wind has to go through more than 25 federal, state and local approval processes. Earlier this month, the project also denied a permit for the undersea cables that would connect the park to mainland Massachusetts.
Before the setbacks announced in July, Vineyard Wind LLC, a 50/50 partnership between Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) and Avangrid Renewables LLC, planned to launch construction of the 84-turbine power plant 15 miles (24 km) south of Martha's Vineyard late in 2019. The project was selected in May 2018 as the winner in Massachusetts' solicitation for up to 800 MW of offshore wind capacity.