Over 85% of participants, representing diverse interests, speak in favor of offshore wind.
For Immediate Release
Madison, Connecticut. July 22, 2020.
RENEW Northeast (RENEW), a leading regional renewable organization governed by both environmental and industry interests is highlighting the overwhelming public support Vineyard Wind and offshore wind development more broadly has received as the Bureau of Offshore Energy Management’s (BOEM) concluded the oral commentary portion of their 45-day public engagement process. Preliminary results show that 85%, or six of every seven commenters, favor offshore wind.
“With the transportation and heating sector converting to electricity and the climate threat intensifying, this strong support for renewables, and specifically offshore wind, does not surprise us,” said Francis Pullaro, Executive Director of RENEW. “We have, however, been astounded at the broad range of interests that invested the time to tell the federal government exactly why they support offshore wind. We encourage BOEM to listen to these voices and allow offshore wind to make a robust contribution to New England’s electric grid, environment and economy.”
RENEW is pleased to share the voices of offshore wind:
“It is imperative that the United States usher in this new renewable energy industry. The jobs and economic opportunity offshore wind development bring are vital to local businesses across Cape Cod and other coastal communities.”
CEO, Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce
“The Massachusetts Maritime Academy has a long-standing tradition of educating personnel for the maritime industry, the power generation industry, and their supporting industries. Years ago, the Academy installed a wind turbine on its Buzzards Bay campus, and, more recently, has established a Basic Safety Training program for training the offshore workforce, as well as a new Bachelor of Science degree program in Energy Systems Engineering. Offshore wind generation will have a direct and positive impact on the reduction of greenhouse gasses while providing an economic stimulus measured in billions of dollars.”
Francis X. McDonald, LPD, RADM, USMS
President, Massachusetts Maritime Academy
“The National Wildlife Federation is eager for BOEM to advance the Vineyard Wind project and for responsibly sited, developed, and operated offshore wind power to be a pillar of the nation’s clean energy future. We were proud to reach agreement with Vineyard Wind on measures to protect the endangered North Atlantic right whale during project construction and operation. It is time to harness this critical climate solution while protecting wildlife every step of the way.”
Offshore Wind Energy Program Director, National Wildlife Federation
“On behalf of the National Science Foundation’s only research center on wind energy, the WindSTAR Center at UMass Lowell is supportive of the efforts of BOEM on the development of offshore wind and supports the 1×1 nautical mile spacing for the turbine layout.”
Director, WindSTAR Center at University of Massachusetts, Lowell
“The COVID-19 crisis has drawn attention to the link between exposure to air pollution and poor health outcomes. We can no longer hide from the health effects of air pollution and climate change caused by the burning of fossil fuels. This is especially true for our most vulnerable populations – children, older adults, low-income communities, and communities of color. As an emergency physician, I see the impacts that air pollution and climate change are having on my patients due to worsening air quality, extreme heat, worsening allergens, and increased prevalence of tick-borne illnesses. Developing Massachusetts’ abundant offshore wind resources is essential for Massachusetts to move beyond these harmful fossil fuels and towards a clean, renewable energy future that preserves the health of both our planet and our people.”
Dr. Amy Collins M.D.
Senior Clinical Advisor for Physician Engagement, Health Care Without Harm
“Our utilities are closely connected to our customers and we know that customers want climate-friendly energy at a competitive price. Offshore wind offers our region a unique opportunity to meaningfully expand renewable energy without breaking the backs of ratepayers.”
John G. Tzimorangas
President and CEO, Energy New England
“The Massachusetts Business Roundtable supports public policy and regulatory efforts that provide reliable, sustainable, affordable energy resources for consumers and businesses enabling the state to meet the needs of a growing economy and the goals of the Global Warming Solutions Act. We support the balanced 1 x 1 nautical mile approach, outlined by the U.S. Coast Guard and BOEM, that will enable our region to address climate change through the effective and efficient development of large-scale clean energy resources such as offshore wind.”
Executive Director, Massachusetts Business Roundtable
These are just a few of the hundreds of organizations and individuals who have commented favorably on offshore wind since BOEM opened its 45-day comment period on June 12, 2020 for the Vineyard Wind 1 project. Vineyard Wind 1, located in federal waters off the coast of Massachusetts, will be the first large-scale offshore wind project in the United States providing 800 megawatts of clean and reliable electricity into the New England power grid.
At sites located on the Outer Continental Shelf, the Department of Energy estimates offshore wind’s technical potential at over 2,000 gigawatts (or double the amount of all existing installed U.S. electricity), 86 gigawatts of which could be developed by 2050. Atlantic coastal states, recognizing the economic and environmental opportunities afforded by the technology, have collectively issued procurement targets for 29 gigawatts of offshore wind. A recent economic development study from the American Wind Energy Association reported that offshore wind development off the Atlantic Coast could translate into $57 billion in direct investment, add $25 billion in annual economic output and create 83,000 well-paying jobs by 2030, all while stabilizing retail electricity rates and emitting no climate-altering greenhouse gases.
BOEM completed five scheduled oral virtual meetings on July 9th and its written comment period remains open until July 27th.
One of the pivotal outstanding items being reviewed by BOEM is that of transit lanes. There has been vocal support for the uniform 1 x 1 nautical mile layout that the U.S. Coast Guard determined, after a robust public input process, would “maximize safe navigation.” The 1 x 1 nautical mile layout, agreed to by all New England offshore wind leaseholders to provide ample and uniform navigation transit lanes, is larger spacing than in any other wind facility currently operating in the world.
An alternative layout requiring additional transit lanes over four times wider than the USCG reviewed 1 x 1 design is under consideration by BOEM and has been widely criticized in public comments received during the four meetings.
RENEW Northeast encourages members of the public to share their comments about the urgent climate and economic need for offshore wind and support the 1 x 1 nautical mile navigation lanes. BOEM is accepting comments online and by mail through Monday, July 27, 2020.
Online: Comment Now
By mail: Send to Vineyard Wind 1 COP EIS. Program Manager, Office of Renewable Energy. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, 45600 Woodland Road (VAM-OREP), Sterling, Virginia 20166
For more information on how to easily share your views and amplify your voice on social media, please visit our OSWSupport page.