The Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB), an independent state board responsible for the review of proposed large energy facilities, has approved petitions filed by Vineyard Wind LLC for the construction and operation of electric transmission facilities within the commonwealth.
According to the developer, the approval of the offshore project’s transmission cables and interconnection substation by the EFSB – which is administered by state’s Department of Public Utilities (DPU) staff and chaired by the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs – represents another significant milestone in the project’s development.
“Approval by the Massachusetts EFSB is another affirmation of the collaborative, community-focused approach that Vineyard Wind has taken in designing and developing the nation’s first commercial-scale offshore wind project,” comments Erich Stephens, chief development officer of Vineyard Wind. “We want to thank the residents and officials of the Town of Barnstable who took the time to explore opportunities to address local concerns while simultaneously delivering enough cost-competitive, carbon-free energy to serve six percent of the commonwealth’s electricity demand, making the project a real win-win-win.”
Vineyard Wind LLC is a 50/50 joint venture between Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Avangrid Renewables. The 800 MW project will be located 15 miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.
“Today’s decision is another critical step forward as Vineyard Wind moves toward beginning onshore construction later this year,” adds Laura Beane, president and CEO of Avangrid Renewables. “The future of the American offshore wind energy industry is rising in Massachusetts thanks to the commitment of many stakeholders to deliver competitive solutions to climate change, and we remain committed to delivering environmental benefits and economic opportunity through our investment.”
In April, the DPU approved long-term power purchase agreements between Vineyard Wind and Massachusetts’ electric distribution companies for the delivery of offshore wind energy from the project.
Last year, the project was selected as the winning bid under Massachusetts’ 83C offshore wind solicitation. The wind farm continues to move ahead with public and regulatory review through more than 25 federal, state and local approval processes.
Vineyard Wind remains on schedule to begin onshore construction this year and become operational by 2021.