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Vineyard Wind moves turbines to aid fishing vessels

NEW BEDFORD – Vineyard Wind announced Monday that it has adjusted the layout for its 84-turbine wind farm to give more room for fishing vessels operating south of the Islands.

The company has moved the planned location of three 9.5 megawatt turbines farther away from the Nantucket Historic District and Chappaquiddick to create additional distance between the wind farm and commercial fishing areas just south of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. The redesign also aids fishing vessels traveling around Nomans Land and heading toward fishing grounds southeast of the wind farm, the company said.

The project’s plan to deliver 800 megawatts of electricity annually to three Massachusetts utilities is not affected by the adjustments, according to the company.

“Where possible, we have a responsibility to minimize the project’s footprint with respect to the history and culture of the Cape and Islands, and existing uses of these waters,” said Erich Stevens, Vineyard Wind’s chief development officer.

The company has proposed to install an automatic detection and lighting system that would reduce the use of red, flashing aircraft warning lights to what would amount to a few hours per year, according to Monday’s statement. The company also has agreed to reduce the visibility of the turbines during daylight hours through the use of white-gray paint.

The company, currently in the midst of federal permitting for the $2 billion construction project and a long-term operations and maintenance plan for the wind farm, has said it expects to begin construction later this year.