Vineyard Wind Receives Record of Decision for First in the Nation Commercial Scale Offshore Wind Project

Vineyard Wind, a joint venture between Avangrid Renewables, a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc., and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), have received the Record of Decision (ROD) from the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the final major step in the federal review process for the first commercial scale offshore wind farm in the United States.

“Today’s Record of Decision is not about the start of a single project, but the launch of a new industry,” said Vineyard Wind CEO Lars T. Pedersen. “Receiving this final major federal approval means the jobs, economic benefits and clean energy revolution associated with the Vineyard Wind 1 project can finally come to fruition. It’s been a long road to get to this point, but ultimately, we are reaching the end of this process with the strongest possible project. I want to thank the Biden Administration, Secretaries Haaland and Raimondo and BOEM for their efforts in finalizing the review of this project. I also want to thank Governor Baker, the Massachusetts federal delegation and State Legislature for their steadfast commitment to seeing this endeavor through to today. And of course, I want to extend my sincerest appreciation to all our supporters and stakeholders for all of their work, input and dedication. We could not have reached this milestone without you.”

“With this record of decision on Vineyard Wind on the books, the era of American offshore wind is no longer on the horizon—it’s here, now, off the coast of Massachusetts, and the answer to America’s energy future is blowing in the offshore wind,” said U.S. Senator Edward Markey. “Vineyard Wind will be the first of many offshore wind projects to come, and we can use our Bay State know-how to show the rest of the country how to get steel in the water, zero-emission energy on the grid, and union jobs to American workers. I applaud Vineyard Wind, Massachusetts stakeholders, and the Biden administration for moving forward with this project and following through on their commitment to jobs, climate, and American innovation.”

In response to comments and direct engagement with neighboring communities, environmental organizations and advocates, fisheries organizations, and governmental and tribal entities, the project has incorporated significant mitigation measures, including:

Historic Protections for the North Atlantic Right Whale (NARW):

  • Commitment to invest millions of dollars to develop and deploy innovative technologies and undertake scientific research to further safeguard marine mammals. Last year, Vineyard Wind partnered with Greentown Labs to work with the startup community to innovative technologies to the forefront. To learn more about that initiative, click here.
  • Institute comprehensive monitoring protocols to ensure that construction doesn’t take place when NARWs are near the lease area. The project will utilize acoustic monitoring technology throughout construction including in transit corridors and will employ trained protective species observers to spot NARW visually during transits and foundation installation.
  • Deploy industry leading technology to dampen construction noise during installation in order to protect the NARW and all marine species.

Substantial Fisheries Investment and Mitigation Funding:

  • Agreements with the states of Massachusetts and Rhode Island to provide millions to compensate fishermen for potential loss of revenue and gear and to enhance their ability to fish in and around the lease area
  • Commitment to continue funding pre and post construction survey studies with both the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST) and the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association (MLA) to measure what impact, if any, the windfarm is having on the marine environment. To learn more about the fisheries studies, click here.

Cultural and Historical Protections:

  • Project will use an Aircraft Detection Lighting System (ALDS) to ensure that nighttime lights will only operate a few hours a year when aircrafts are present
  • Turbines will be painted to reduce visual impacts to historical properties
  • Funds will be allocated to conduct ethnographic studies for local Native American Tribes that will serve as the basis for submissions to the National Register of Historic Places to allow for greater recognition of tribal heritage sites.

Vineyard Wind 1 is an 800 MW project located 15 miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard and will be the first commercial scale offshore wind project in the United States. The project will generate electricity for more than 400,000 homes and businesses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, create 3,600 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) job years over the life of the project, save ratepayers $1.4 billion over the first 20 years of operation and is expected to reduce carbon emissions by more than 1.6 million tons per year.

Vineyard Wind will reach financial close in the second half of 2021 and begin delivering clean energy to Massachusetts in 2023.