Vineyard Wind Passes MEPA Review Process

The Vineyard Wind offshore wind project has passed the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) review process following the certification of the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR).

According to Vineyard Wind, the Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Matthew A. Beaton certified the FEIR for the 800MW project, which brought to the finalization of MEPA.

The wind farm is now allowed to seek permit review from the Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard Commissions, and the Barnstable Conservation Commission, among others.

“The MEPA environmental review process provided a significant benefit to the project, allowing numerous stakeholders, advocacy groups, and interested citizens to help identify and address impacts so they can be effectively managed or mitigated,” said Erich Stephens, Chief Development Officer for Vineyard Wind.

“Our team will continue to work collaboratively with state, regional and local regulatory agencies – as well as all stakeholders- as the project moves forward.”

Vineyard Wind, who submitted the FEIR to EEA in December 2019, said the certification represents the latest key milestone for the project as it advances through permitting.

The project is currently in the review process of the Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) that is expected to conclude in March.

The evidentiary hearings before the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board were completed in October 2018, with a tentative decision expected in March and the final decision anticipated in early Apri.

Vineyard Wind, North America’s first large-scale offshore wind farm, will feature MHI Vestas 9.5MW turbines located some 14 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard.

The 800MW project will enter the construction phase this year and is expected to be operational in 2021.