Vineyard Wind Backs Fishing Transit Plan

Vineyard Wind has formally endorsed a transit corridor plan for fishing vessels in federal waters off the coast of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, which includes a direct passage through the middle of the company’s 800MW offshore wind lease area.

The endorsed plan enables fishermen from Rhode Island, Massachusetts and the Long Island area to reach fishing grounds south and east of Cape Cod by transiting the length of the wind areas.

It was developed at fishing working group meetings held in September and October and previously supported by fishermen from Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Long Island, as well as the U.S. Coast Guard.

“The fishing industry has placed a significant amount of time and energy into developing a transit corridor plan that works for them,” said Erich Stephens, Chief Development Officer for Vineyard Wind.

“Our team appreciates the work that the fishermen have done to address this and other important concerns. Wind developers must recognize the importance of locating transit lanes through their lease areas when those plans will accommodate the fishermen who work out of ports like Point Judith in Rhode Island and Montauk on Long Island.”

Vineyard Wind said its support comes after alternative plans were discussed at a recent meeting of fishermen, developers and federal agencies, but no new consensus was achieved.

As the first developer to support the fishery transit lanes, the company calls on other developers with leases offshore Rhode Island and Massachusetts to back the proposed plan, emphasizing that all leaseholders must adopt a coherent plan in order for it to be effective.

The Vineyard Wind offshore wind farm is located some 14 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard and will feature MHI Vestas 9.5MW turbines. It is expected to enter the construction phase in 2019 and to be operational by 2021.