Bloomberg reports on a Biden-administration initiative to build a massive, $2.8 billion windmill installation off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard:
“The whole industry has been watching and waiting for this permit,” said Jonathan Cole, head of offshore wind for Iberdrola SA, the parent company of Avangrid Inc., which is jointly developing Vineyard Wind with Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners.
The project will have a capacity of 800 megawatts, enough to power about 400,000 East Coast homes. It’s a significant step toward meeting President Joe Biden’s goal of deploying 30,000 megawatts of offshore wind capacity by the end of the decade. While two small wind farms now operate in waters off the U.S. East Coast today, no other major offshore wind project has progressed this far in the federal permitting process.
The Vineyard Wind project is set to be built 12 nautical miles (22.2 kilometers) off Martha’s Vineyard and 12 nautical miles off Nantucket. It’s farther from shore than the failed Cape Wind project, which was once the vanguard of American clean energy but faltered in 2017 after a 16-year battle with the likes of the Kennedy family and billionaire industrialist Bill Koch.
Under the Interior Department’s approval, the Vineyard Wind project would encompass as many as 84 wind turbines, each separated by at least one nautical mile. The authorization follows years of scrutiny, including how a surge of coastal wind projects will affect marine life and the fishing industry.
Fishing groups argue that the project’s design and the government’s environmental reviews are inadequate.