US approves 800MW Vineyard Wind offshore project
US Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo have approved the construction and operation of the Vineyard Wind project, the first large-scale, offshore wind project in the United States.
The 800MW Vineyard Wind energy project will contribute to the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of generating 30GW of energy from offshore wind by 2030. The project, located approximately 12 nautical miles offshore Nantucket, Massachusetts, in the northern portion of Vineyard Wind’s lease area, will create 3,600 jobs and provide enough power for 400,000 homes and businesses.
“A clean energy future is within our grasp in the United States," said Haaland. "The approval of this project is an important step toward advancing the Administration's goals to create good-paying union jobs while combatting climate change and powering our nation."
In its first four months, the Biden-Harris administration has catalyzed the offshore wind industry by announcing the first national offshore wind energy mandate, creating a roadmap for the future of this innovative industry.
The new administration hopes the 30GW goal will create "tens of thousands of living wage, family-supporting union jobs" while positioning America to lead a clean energy revolution and tackle the climate crisis.
Building the offshore wind supply chain can feed steel mills in West Virginia, support ship building in Texas, and wind turbine manufacturing in both inland areas and on the coasts.
Turbines will be installed in an east-west orientation, and all the turbines will have a minimum spacing of 1 nautical mile between them in the north-south and east-west directions, consistent with the U.S. Coast Guard recommendations in the Final Massachusetts and Rhode Island Port Access Route Study. DEME Offshore US will serve as contractor for the offshore transport and installation of the wind turbine generators.
“This project represents the power of a government-wide approach to offshore wind permitting, taking stakeholder ideas and concerns into consideration every step of the way,” said Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Director Amanda Lefton. “We will continue to advance new projects that will incorporate lessons learned from analyzing this project to ensure an efficient and predictable process for industry and stakeholders.”
Prior to construction, Vineyard Wind must submit a facility design report and a fabrication and installation report. These engineering and technical reports provide specific details for how the facility will be fabricated and installed in accordance with the approved Construction and Operations Plan.
The US East Coast is one of the most promising regions for offshore wind, with more than 1,200 miles of coastline, spanning from Maine to North Carolina, in proximity to areas of high power demand, according to McKinsey.