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Offshore wind farm to be built in Massachusetts

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Energy Global,

Vineyard Wind have announced that company shareholders have affirmed a commitment to deliver a proposed 800 MW wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts, albeit with a delayed project schedule.

This decision follows the 9 August determination by the US Department of the Interior (DOI) to significantly delay publication of the Vineyard Wind 1 project’s final environmental impact statement (FEIS) and to instead undertake a supplemental draft environmental impact statement process. In public statements, the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has indicated the supplemental process is needed to examine the effects from the many offshore wind projects that are expected to follow development of the the company’s project.

Lars Pedersen, CEO of Vineyard Wind said: “We were less than 4 months away from launching a new industry in the US, so we thank the more than 50 US companies already awarded a contract or currently bidding on contracts, the financial institutions engaged in raising more than US$2 billion in capital, and the first-class, global contractors that have joined us in planning for the first large-scale offshore wind farm in America.

Publication of the FEIS was one of the final steps for Vineyard Wind 1 in the federal permitting process, representing an important milestone to cap a comprehensive public and regulatory review process that began in 2017, and had since been targeted for completion by 16 August. The review process has encompassed evaluation by more than 25 federal, state, and local regulatory agencies and commissions.

The company has not yet received any documentation as to the requirements for the expanded analysis that BOEM indicated in a public statement issued on 9 August. However, it is clear that the timing of such an analysis is not compatible with the original timeline that has been communicated to the company since March 2018. With this development, the shareholders must revise the project as the original timeline is no longer feasible.

With 3600 jobs, a US$2.8 billion investment in new infrastructure, contracts with shipyards in the Gulf Coast and the northeast and much more hanging in the balance, the company represents an immediate opportunity to share the benefits of American offshore wind development with ratepayers and blue-collar workers. Once operational, the project will reduce carbon emissions by over 1.6 million tpy, the equivalent of removing 325 000 cars from state roads.

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