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Vineyard Wind submits additional environmental review to Mass. officials


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Vineyard Wind submits additional environmental review to Mass. officials

Vineyard Wind LLC has submitted a supplementary draft environmental impact report to Massachusetts for its Vineyard Offshore Wind Project after state officials said the developer's initial paperwork was "inadequate."

Vineyard Wind's updated statement includes results from the company's marine surveys and more specific information on two possible export cable routes for the project, according to chief development officer Erich Stephen's cover letter to Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Matthew Beaton. The project's National Environmental Policy Act review is "well underway," and the company expects to have a draft environmental impact statement from federal authorities issued in the fall of 2018.

"Vineyard Wind remains on schedule to begin site construction in 2019 and become operational by 2021," the company said in a Sept. 4 statement. "When Vineyard Wind's project is completed, it will reduce Massachusetts' carbon emissions by over 1.6 million tons per year, the equivalent of removing 325,000 cars from state roads."

The supplementary report is subject to a 37-day review from the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act Office starting on Sept. 5. Public comments on the document are due by Oct. 5.

On June 15, Beaton issued a certificate to Vineyard Wind for its initial draft environmental impact report for the 800-MW offshore wind facility. However, he told the developer that it needed to provide additional information on certain potential effects, such as cable installations and seaport usage.

Vineyard Wind was selected by Massachusetts utilities National Grid USA, Unitil Corp. and Eversource Energy on May 23 to provide 800 MW of offshore wind power. The parties submitted their power purchase contract for a levelized price of $65/MWh for the utilities' customers to the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities for approval on July 31.

Vineyard Wind is a joint venture between Avangrid Renewables LLC and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners K/S.