The Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) Office has began an environmental review of the proposed Vineyard Wind Connector transmission project.
The review is a step forward for Vineyard Wind’s proposal to construct a large, utility-scale wind energy project off the coast of Massachusetts, with in-state construction to begin in 2019.
State and local regulatory review of the Vineyard Wind Connector project, a buried and submarine electric transmission project which will provide grid connection for offshore wind turbines located over 14 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, will be undertaken by a number of state and local agencies and boards in addition to the MEPA review.
The MEPA review process began with public consultative sessions in Boston and Hyannis, as well as a site visit in Barnstable and Yarmouth, on Monday.
The consultation sessions and site visit conducted by the MEPA office were undertaken to gather public comment and agency input for MEPA’s use in developing a Scope for the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR). The review will include a Mandatory Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) by Vineyard Wind, and opportunity for public comment to the Final EIR.
The proposed Vineyard Wind Connector is comprised of subsea and subsurface electrical transmission lines and a new substation that will connect the Vineyard Wind generation project to the Massachusetts electric grid.
MEPA will accept written comment on the ENF until January 16, 2018, Vineyard Wind noted.
In addition to MEPA review, the Vineyard Wind project will face substantial public review through over 25 federal, state, and local approval processes, including from the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (federal Environmental Impact Statement), the Army Corps of Engineers, the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board, Massachusetts DEP and CZM, the Cape Cod Commission and local conservation commissions.