NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) ─ An offshore wind project that would provide clean energy to nearly all of southeastern Massachusetts is one step closer to becoming a reality.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) released its final environmental review of the Vineyard Wind project Monday, which included a favorable assessment of the proposal.
Vineyard Wind’s proposed 84-turbine offshore wind farm would generate 800 megawatts of clean energy and power 400,000 homes. The company said it would be the first large-scale offshore wind farm energy project in the country.
“More than three years of federal review and public comment is nearing its conclusion and 2021 is poised to be a momentous year for our project and the broader offshore wind industry,” Vineyard Wind CEO Lars Pedersen said in a statement. “We look forward to reaching the final step in the federal permitting process and being able to launch an industry that has such tremendous potential for economic development in communities up and down the Eastern seaboard.”
The project’s advancement is big news for New Bedford. The company said it will be utilizing the city’s port during the wind farm’s construction.
New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell said the final environmental review of the project “marks a historic milestone in the development of the offshore wind industry in America.”
“With its advantages of geographic proximity, upgraded infrastructure and America’s best seafaring workforce, and after years of careful planning and investment, New Bedford is poised to lead the development of the industry, so that it can meet its promise of generating well-paying jobs while successfully coexisting with the commercial fishing industry,” Mitchell said in a statement.
The final step in the lengthy federal assessment of the project, according to the company, is an official decision from the BOEM, which could come as early as this spring.
The company expects to reach financial close for the project later this year and hopes to have the wind farm up and running by 2023.