Vineyard Wind says federal officials have no intention of stopping the 84-turbine offshore wind farm project. This comes after federal officials announced that it was not ready to make a decision on a critical component of the project.
Last week, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) said it’s wasn’t ready to make a decision on a pending Environmental Impact Statement which is still under review.
There was concern that the delay could impact the Vineyard Wind project’s timeline to begin construction. In a statement, BOEM said potential offshore wind projects are major infrastructure projects and will "continue to work on evaluating the potential environmental impacts of this proposed project."
Erich Stephens, Chief Development Officer for Vineyard Wind, says construct is still set to begin by the end of the year. The company continues to sign contracts and make commitments with vendors.
"You can think of it as a train that’s being organized and started," Stephens said. "It's very hard to stop and that’s why it’s so important that that final EIS come out soon."
The decision last week was one of two setbacks for the project that was on a fast track to become the country’s first large scale offshore wind farm.
The Edgartown Conservation Commission on Martha’s Vineyard denied the developer’s application to lay transmission cables in the area last week, citing potential “adverse effects” from burying the cables underground. In a statement, Vineyard Wind said the decision was flawed and inconsistent and it plans to appeal to state regulators.
The Vineyard Wind project will be the country’s first large-scale offshore wind farm, powering over 400-thousand Massachusetts homes.