The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has terminated its environmental review of the offshore wind project after Vineyard Wind withdrew a key plan from review.
On Dec. 1, Vineyard Wind sent a letter to BOEM stating it was withdrawing its construction and operations plan from BOEM review to accommodate internal technical review of the project’s new wind turbine, the General Electric Haliade-X.
Previously, Vineyard Wind planned to use turbines from another company, but the original supply contract expired, said Vineyard Wind spokesperson Andrew Doba.
BOEM announced Wednesday that because Vineyard Wind withdrew the construction and operations plan, there is no longer a proposal awaiting technical and environmental review, nor is there a decision pending before BOEM.
“This notice advises the public that the preparation and completion of an [environment impact statement] is no longer necessary, and the process is hereby terminated,” reads the notice from BOEM.
A BOEM spokesperson would neither confirm nor deny if this termination would cause further delays to the project.
“Vineyard Wind is welcome to submit a new construction and operations plan, at which time BOEM will begin an appropriate environmental and technical review,” said the spokesperson in an email to the Standard-Times.
Earlier in 2020, BOEM said it expected to make a decision on a final permit for the project by Dec. 18, 2020. Before Vineyard Wind withdrew the plan, BOEM was scheduled to publish its final environment impact statement on Dec. 11, 2020.
According to a Dec. 14 statement, Vineyard Wind still anticipates final agreements will be made by 2021, and power will be delivered to the grid by 2023.
“Over the past three years, this project has been through an extremely rigorous process and we believe the agency can promptly restart the process,” the statement reads. “As we’ve said at the time we made this initial decision, a short delay now still allows us to deliver the project on the appropriate timeline… We continue to progress on our due diligence efforts and we intend to notify the BOEM in several weeks when it can resume and complete its review of the [construction and operations plan].”
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