SMAST Invites Fisheries to Assess Offshore Wind Impacts

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST) is hosting four workshops with the fishing industry to identify priorities for the assessment of impacts offshore wind has on fisheries and ecological conditions.

The priorities focus on effects before, during and after construction and will be used to help the design of studies of the 800MW Vineyard Wind offshore wind project in Massachusetts.

The SMAST studies, part of a collaborative agreement between the school and Vineyard Wind, seek to investigate public understanding about the effects of offshore wind and to inform future permitting and public policy decisions regarding wind energy facility siting.

With the research, SMAST expects to help establish a body of knowledge which would help the U.S. offshore wind industry and the fishing community long after the Vineyard Wind project is completed.

The first workshop will be held on 8 November at SMAST, with the second scheduled for 15 November at the Commercial Fisheries Center of Rhode Island.

The remaining two workshops will take place on 19 November at the Chatham Community Center and on 3 December at the West Tisbury Library. All the events begin at 6 p.m. local time.

In May, Vineyard Wind, a partnership between Avangrid Renewables and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), was selected to develop the 800MW project some 14 miles off Martha’s Vineyard.

The wind farm is scheduled to enter the construction phase in 2019 and become operational by 2021.