My name is Francis Pullaro and I am the Executive Director of RENEW Northeast or RENEW. RENEW is a non-profit association uniting environmental advocates and the renewable energy industry whose mission involves coordinating the ideas and resources of its members with the goal of increasing environmentally sustainable energy generation in the Northeast from the region’s abundant, indigenous renewable resources.
RENEW seeks to promote policies, like Massachusetts’ offshore wind development requirements, that will increase power system reliability and achieve the Commonwealth’s environmental goals including those found in its Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA).
The 800-megawatt Vineyard Wind I Project and the several other projects in adjacent lease areas that are now under contract will also help spur development of local industry and economic development.
On behalf of RENEW, I offer my appreciation to BOEM for its work in completing the analysis of the cumulative impacts of offshore wind development through the Supplemental Environmental Impact Study.
One of the pivotal outstanding items being reviewed by BOEM is that of navigational channels. RENEW supports the uniform 1 x 1 nautical mile layout which the U.S. Coast Guard determined, after a robust public input process, would “maximize safe navigation.” The 1 x 1 layout, which was agreed to by all New England offshore wind leaseholders, will provide ample and uniform navigation channels and is significantly larger than routes provided in the more mature European offshore wind industry.
The Coast Guard determined that the 1×1 nautical mile pattern, orientation and spacing will safely accommodate vessel transits, traditional fishing operations and search and rescue operations. The recommendations on navigation safety in the Coast Guard’s report provide example of how offshore wind development is compatible with existing commercial and recreational activity in the Wind Energy Area.
For these reasons, RENEW opposes the new Alternative F proposal that would include unnecessary additional transit lanes.
RENEW respectfully requests BOEM approve the Construction and Operations Plan consistent with the 1×1 nautical mile turbine layout.
Thank you for the opportunity to provide this testimony.