Story at a glance

  • Vineyard Wind in December requested a temporary pause in the federal permitting process while it determined whether the decision to use a certain type of turbine would require changes to the project's construction and operations plan.
  • Just five days after President Biden was sworn into office, the company announced it rescinded its request and asked the Biden administration to restart the permitting process.
  • The permitting process has run into many delays over the years, in part over concerns expressed by the commercial fishing industry.

The developer behind a major offshore wind project is asking the Biden administration to jump start a federal review of its plan to construct the United States’s first industrial-scale offshore wind farm. 

Vineyard Wind is working on a $2.2 billion, 800-megawatt wind farm located 15 miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard. The project is aiming to generate electricity for more than 400,000 homes and businesses in Massachusetts, create thousands of jobs and reduce carbon emissions by more than 1.6 million tons per year. Vineyard Wind is hoping to deliver clean energy to the state by 2023.


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In December, the company requested a temporary pause in the federal permitting process while it determined whether the decision to use a certain type of turbine would require changes to the project's construction and operations plan, prompting the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to terminate its entire review of the project. 

It was not clear at the time whether the review process would have to start from scratch once Vineyard Wind made its determination, or if it would begin immediately from where it left off. 

But just five days after President Biden was sworn into office, the company announced it rescinded its request and asked the Biden administration to restart the permitting process. The company said it notified BOEM the project would not need to change its construction plan as a result of switching turbine suppliers. 

“We have completed our final review and determined that no changes to the [construction operation plan] are necessary as a consequence of selecting the GE Haliade-X Turbine for the project,” Lars T. Pedersen, CEO of Vineyard Wind, said in a statement

“Since there are no changes required to the COP, we expect that BOEM can finalize their review based on the extensive analysis and studies of the project over the last three years. We look forward to completing the permitting phase of the project.” 

It’s not clear how the BOEM will respond to Vineyard Wind’s resubmission with new leadership in the White House, but Biden has pledged to boost investment in renewable energy as part of his broader push to tackle climate change. 

The permitting process has run into many delays over the years, in part over concerns expressed by the commercial fishing industry. 


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Published on Jan 25, 2021