Vineyard Wind, a joint venture between Avangrid Renewables, a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc., and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners today received the Record of Decision from the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the final major step in the federal review process for the first commercial scale offshore wind farm in the United States.
“Today’s Record of Decision is not about the start of a single project, but the launch of a new industry,” said Vineyard Wind CEO Lars T. Pedersen. “Receiving this final major federal approval means the jobs, economic benefits and clean energy revolution associated with the Vineyard Wind 1 project can finally come to fruition. It’s been a long road to get to this point, but ultimately, we are reaching the end of this process with the strongest possible project.”
Since 2017, the Vineyard Wind 1 project has been through an unprecedented and exhaustive public review process that generated more than 30,000 public comments, more than 90 percent of which supported the project. The Construction and Operations Plan was reviewed by more than two dozen federal, state, and local agencies over the course of more than three and a half years.
The project design includes the world’s most powerful wind turbine, the GE Haliade-X, with a capacity of 13 megawatts. The larger turbine capacity has allowed the project to reduce the total number of turbines from 108 to 62 while still delivering a total capacity of 800 MW to Massachusetts ratepayers. The turbine layout, which features consistent spacing of one nautical mile between turbines, was endorsed by the United States Coast Guard for transit, fishing and navigational safety.
“Massachusetts should be proud that this decision launches the nation’s first commercial-scale offshore wind project here on the Commonwealth’s shores,” said Gov. Charlie Baker. “This groundbreaking project will produce affordable, renewable energy, create jobs and prove Massachusetts developed a successful model for developing offshore wind energy. We appreciate the federal government’s partnership to grant this approval and look forward to working with Vineyard Wind to create thousands of jobs and set the Commonwealth on a path to achieve Net Zero emissions.”
In response to comments and direct engagement with neighboring communities, environmental organizations and advocates, fisheries organizations, and governmental and tribal entities, the project has incorporated significant mitigation measures, including protections for the North Atlantic Right Whale, fisheries investment and mitigation funding and cultural and historic protections.