Washington D.C. – July 7, 2020 – The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) yesterday filed comprehensive comments on the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) draft supplemental environmental impact statement for Vineyard Wind, the ﬁrst utility-scale offshore wind project in American federal waters. The full comments can be found here. AWEA today also issued the following statement:
“We urge BOEM to move toward timely approval of this milestone project, at last unlocking the enormous potential for offshore wind to meet our nation’s growing appetite for clean energy, create tens of thousands of jobs, and provide substantial investments into the American economy. It is time for our country to start catching up to global competitors, who are already harnessing the significant economic and environmental benefits of offshore wind.
The offshore wind industry remains committed to collaborating with other ocean users as we move forward. We are confident that the deployment of offshore wind can be compatible with commercial fishing and safe navigation, as has been demonstrated in many other countries that are already safely and successfully operating offshore wind farms. AWEA strongly agrees with the analysis from the U.S. Coast Guard and BOEM that the turbine spacing and uniform grid layout proposed by offshore developers for the adjacent Massachusetts and Rhode Island lease areas, which is reflected in Alternative D2 in the draft supplemental environmental impact statement and results in 200 transit lanes through the lease areas, will ‘maximize safe navigation,’ as the Coast Guard determined. There is no reason to adopt Alternative F to provide even wider transit lanes when Coast Guard and BOEM analysis demonstrates it is worse for navigation safety.
By finishing the environmental review in a timely fashion, BOEM will signal that U.S. offshore wind is about to take off, attracting the 83,000 American jobs and $25 billion in annual economic investment this industry represents. On the other hand, additional delays and regulatory uncertainty will likely cause these careers and dollars to flow to Europe and other countries whose policies support clean, safe, and affordable offshore wind.” – Laura Morton, AWEA Senior Director of Policy and Regulatory Affairs, Offshore