Federal environmental approval needed in 4-6 weeks

VINEYARD WIND says its offshore wind farm could be in jeopardy if the federal government fails to approve its environmental impact statement over the next six weeks.

In a carefully worded statement issued early Thursday morning, the company appeared to be prodding federal officials at the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to move quickly to approve the environmental impact statement. The statement represents a shift for the company, which had earlier acknowledged delays were expected in the review of the nation’s first commercial-scale offshore wind farm.

“Vineyard Wind has communicated to BOEM that, for a variety of reasons, it would be very challenging to move forward the Vineyard Wind 1 project in its current configuration if the final EIS is not issued within, approximately, the next four to six weeks,” the statement said.

Vineyard Wind has a very aggressive construction schedule designed to meet a number of project milestones that are key to its financing. The project is currently scheduled to start construction this year and be completed in 2021.

The Vineyard Wind statement indicated company officials had met with officials at the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and communicated “directly” to Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt, who has the final say on the project moving forward.

“Through all of our communications with government officials, it has been made clear to us that there was no intention to prevent the Vineyard Wind 1 project from moving forward,” the statement said.

Vineyard Wind said it had expected a ruling from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on July 12, but the day before disclosed that it had been informed that the agency needed more time to review the environment impact statement.

“We understand that, as the first commercial-scale offshore wind project in the US, the Vineyard Wind project will undergo extraordinary review before receiving approvals,” Vineyard Wind said last week. “As with any project of this scale and complexity, changes to the schedule are anticipated.”

A day later a spokesman for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management offered no explanation for the holdup but said more time was needed. The spokesman also noted that the agency was well within the two-year review window for such projects. The two-year review window is up in March 2020 – after construction was scheduled to begin. The agency’s spokesman did not respond to a request for comment Thursday.

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Edgartown board denies cables, federal agency delays environmental statement

CENTERVILLE — Vineyard Wind is remaining outwardly resolute after two regulatory setbacks Wednesday involving its planned $2 billion offshore wind farm and the two electricity transmission cables that are to land at a beach in Centerville.

In a 5-1 vote, the Edgartown Conservation Commission denied the company’s notice of intent for the cable-laying. As planned, the cables are to be placed on the ocean floor starting from the wind farm about 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard and then travel northward between the Vineyard and Nantucket to reach William H. Covell Memorial Beach. The cables would pass about a mile east of Edgartown, on the Vineyard, in Muskeget Channel.

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Comment by Willem Post on July 19, 2019 at 12:01pm

Long Islander,

No permits means delays, means more money is needed to build, and energy cost/kWh will be higher.

Also very expensive, specialized equipment/ships/cranes, owned by Europeans, have commitment schedules to other projects in the world.

Vineyard Wind is only one of those projects.

It looks like lots of Massachusetts state RAH RAH folks got things moving TOO fast, and now local and federal folks have objections. Gee, who would have thought?


Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power


Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT


(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/From Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-swept-task-force-set-the-rules/From Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.” https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

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Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."


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