The Rhode Island Coastal Resource Management Council on Tuesday night voted unanimously to give an offshore wind development company the green light to put an 84-turbine wind farm in federal waters off Martha’s Vineyard.
Vineyard Winds will be giving a mitigation package for potentially affected commercial fishermen, with many of them claiming that they were either insulted with the offer or felt backed into a corner.
“I think the compensation is an absolute joke,” one fisherman said. “That doesn’t represent how much money a single vessel would derive from that area.”
The $2 billion wind farm will be put up in the water 14 miles from Martha’s Vineyard.
The Fishermen’s Advisory Board accepted the proposed roughly $16 million in payments, as well as a trust fund that will be controlled by fishermen from Vineyard Wind to help mitigate potential impacts of the project, on Saturday.
Several fishermen spoke up, claiming the wind farm could destroy their lively hood and the fishing industry, primarily squid.
“If this continues Rhode Island will not have a commercial fishing industry,” another fisherman said.
But those in favor of the project said the large-scale renewable clean energy farm will help move the state forward.
“We listen to the concerns. We understand it but we also think that it can work,” Lars Pedersen, who is the CEO Vineyard Wind, said. “It can grow together and especially with this mitigation package that was mentioned it will enable the fisheries to take a view on how we can live together in the ocean.”
Onshore construction is expected to begin at end of 2019, while offshore construction is project to start at the end of 2020.