Vineyard Power Talks Offshore Wind with Cape Cod Fishermen

Representatives from Vineyard Power and Vineyard Wind met the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance on Wednesday in Chatham to get the fishermen’s feedback on an offshore wind project planned to be developed off Martha’s Vineyard.

In 2015, Vineyard Power Cooperative formally partnered with OffshoreMW, now called Vineyard Wind, which won the rights to develop a wind farm on 166,000 acres of leased water 12 nautical miles south of Martha’s Vineyard through a competitive auctioning process held by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).

At the meeting on Wednesday, Vineyard Wind provided updates to the fishermen on the project’s progress and next steps, and discussed project details to receive feedback from the fishing community.

According to Cape Cod Times, the company has not received any negative feedback from fishermen, as opposed to the Cape Wind project, whose development has been severely delayed due to many opponents, including local fishermen.

“We wanted a different model than Cape Wind. We wanted there to be local benefit, local employment, and local input into the project. We’ve met with over 20 fishing groups since March of 2016,” the local news site quoted Richard Andre, president of Vineyard Power, as saying.

In September 2016, the developer started a 60-day preliminary geophysical survey at the lease site, with Alpine Ocean deploying the R/V Shearwater. In late October/ early November 2016, Synergy carried out a geotechnical survey at Vineyard Wind’s project site.

This was the first step of data collection and assessment performed as part of gathering information over the next few years to design a wind farm that will be installed at the site.

BOEM determined RES America Developments and OffshoreMW as the provisional winners of two Massachusetts lease areas auctioned in January 2015. In April 2015, DONG Energy acquired the development rights for RES America’s lease site. Deepwater Wind also holds a lease off Martha’s Vineyard, after the developer of the first US offshore wind farm was declared the provisional winner of two leases for a Wind Energy Area offshore Rhode Island and Massachusetts in 2013.

Last year, all three companies, which hold leases for the three sites off Massachusetts, signed a Letter of Intent with the state of Massachusetts to lease the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal as a staging and deployment location for future offshore wind projects.

Offshore WIND Staff

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