July 15 (Renewables Now) - The developer of the 800-MW Vineyard Wind offshore wind project in the US will seek to overturn the recent denial of Massachusetts’ regulators to approve the scheme’s cabling plan, calling the decision “flawed and inconsistent.”
As announced last week, the Edgartown Conservation Commission refused to approve the project’s export cables application on the grounds that Vineyard Wind LLC’s proposal would have an adverse effect on an area that is “critical” for the wildlife habitat. The developer, a 50/50 partnership between Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) and Avangrid Renewables LLC, planned to bury two cables of 400 MW each that would pass through the Muskeget Channel.
In a press statement on Friday, Vineyard Wind said it will request a superseding order from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection in a bid to overrule the negative decision.
“We are disappointed in the Commission’s decision, which was flawed, inconsistent with the evidence before it, and in contrast to the conclusions of many other regulatory authorities,” said Erich Stephens, chief development officer for Vineyard Wind.
In its statement, the developer stressed on the fact that it has provided the commission with a comprehensive plan for the project and was cooperative in providing any information needed. It also stated it has provided confirmation that the proposed facility would not impact endangered species.
The project has to go through more than 25 federal, state and local approval processes. Last week, the developer was faced with another setback after it was informed by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) that they were not yet prepared to issue a final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
Vineyard Wind hopes to be able to launch construction of the power plant late in 2019 and have it operational in 2021.