On May 11, 2021, the Biden administration’s Departments of Commerce and Interior announced the issuance of a final Record of Decision (ROD) approving the construction and operation of the Vineyard Wind project—the first large-scale, offshore wind project in the United States.
In its press release, the Department of the Interior stated that the ROD:
… grants final federal approval to install 84 or fewer turbines off Massachusetts as part of Vineyard Wind’s 800-megawatt offshore wind energy facility.1 The project is expected to create 3,600 area jobs and will power up to 400,000 homes. Turbines will be installed in an east-west orientation, and all the turbines will have a minimum spacing of 1 nautical mile between them in the north-south and east-west directions, consistent with the U.S. Coast Guard recommendations in the Final Massachusetts and Rhode Island Port Access Route Study.
… adopts mitigation measures to help avoid, minimize, reduce, or eliminate adverse environmental effects that could result from the construction and operation of the proposed project. These mitigation, monitoring, and reporting requirements were developed through input, consultation, and coordination with stakeholders, Tribes, and federal and state agencies.
This approval follows the Biden administration’s March 29, 2021, announcements to “jump start” offshore wind energy development in US waters.2
1 Discussed in our August 18, 2019, Perspective “US East Coast Offshore Wind Race Is On: MA Adds Another 1,600 MW of Offshore Wind, Approval Sought for PPAs at Record Low Prices.”
2 Discussed in our March 30, 2021, Perspective “Biden Administration Jumpstarts Offshore Wind Energy Projects to Create Jobs.”