Green Light for America’s First Major Offshore Wind Energy Project a Historic Win for Climate
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s Record of Decision for the Vineyard Wind project off the coast of Massachusetts — which follows more than three years of federal review and public comment — is a historic moment for offshore wind power and what will be the first large-scale offshore wind project in the United States.
The 800-megawatt project 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard will provide enough electricity to power 400,000 homes. The project is expected to be up and running, providing clean energy to Massachusetts, by the end of 2023.
“The national significance of this milestone cannot be overstated. We’ve been advocating for the responsible development of U.S. offshore wind power for more than a decade and we applaud the Biden Administration’s unwavering commitment to harnessing its potential,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “This decision marks an important step toward launching a critical clean energy solution that can create good-paying union jobs and ensure a healthy future for people and wildlife alike. We are committed to continue working with the Biden Administration, Vineyard Wind and other industry leaders, and our conservation partners to ensure that this and all other offshore wind projects are guided by science and stakeholder input and that protections for wildlife, like the endangered North Atlantic right whale, are at the center of planning and development.”
This Record of Decision is the first of its kind for a large-scale U.S. offshore wind project and follows years of permitting, law-making, and public input. Vineyard Wind won its lease area in a 2015 federal auction. In May of 2018, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts selected Vineyard Wind’s competitive bid — marking the first round of development to fulfill the state’s 1,600 megawatt offshore wind commitment signed into law in 2016, doubled to 3,200 megawatts later in 2018, and increased to 5,600 megawatts earlier this year. The newly approved project will help the United States meet the Biden Administration’s emissions reductions goals under the Paris Agreement and the commitment announced on March 29 to deploy 30,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2030.