Tag Archives: BOEM

Vineyard Wind sails forward!

Atlantic waters 14 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard are again poised to be the site of a milestone that potentially rivals Pennsylvania’s Oil Creek Valley in U.S. energy significance. The Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA), an advocacy group for fishing interests, along with other fishing organizations, has pushed for four-mile-wide transit lanes through the turbines for safe mobile gear fishing and safe general navigation. In general, fishermen have been the strongest critics of the project. “Vineyard Wind alone will generate at least 3,600 jobs, and reduce costs for ratepayers by an estimated $1.4 billion, according to the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources,” the letter states.   >click to read< 10:57

Dominion debuts first offshore wind farm in U.S. federal waters

Gov. Ralph Northam joined state and local officials, industry representatives and stakeholders Monday for a boat excursion 27 miles off the coast to take an up-close look at the massive turbines. Before embarking on the tour, Northam signed landmark offshore wind legislation during a ceremony in front of the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center in Virginia Beach. He said the legislation will continue to position Virginia as a national leader in offshore wind development as the state builds a new industry with thousands of clean energy jobs. >click to read< 12:09

Here you go, Fishermen. Feds see 2,000 East Coast turbines over 10 years

The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) this week issued a supplement to its draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the 800-megawatt Vineyard Wind I project, a joint venture of Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Avangrid Renewables seeking to build an 84-turbine wind farm 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard. A 45-day public comment period begins Friday. “This supplement analyzes reasonably foreseeable effects from an expanded cumulative activities scenario for offshore wind development, previously unavailable fishing data, a new transit lane alternative, and changes to the proposed Vineyard Wind 1 Project,” the document says. >click to read< 10:06

Offshore wind to have major ‘adverse’ effects

Offshore wind farms could have a major “adverse” impact on commercial fisheries, according to a long-awaited analysis from the Interior Department released yesterday. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s draft supplemental environmental review for Vineyard Wind, the first anticipated large-scale wind project in the United States, arrives nearly a year after a final decision on the project was expected. BOEM delayed a final environmental analysis at the eleventh hour last summer and announced the launch of the supplemental review, arguing that the rapid expansion of offshore wind proposals and coastal state wind procurement policies necessitated a broader examination of wind’s foreseeable impacts >click to read< 14:37

RODA Receives NMFS Grant to Convene State of the Science Symposium on Fishing and Offshore Wind Interactions – The Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA) has received a $150,000 grant from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to aggregate existing knowledge, then convene a first-of-its-kind symposium on the current science regarding fisheries and offshore wind interactions. The project, “Understanding the State of the Science,” will advance agency, fishing industry, offshore wind energy developer, and public understanding of existing research on interactions between the two industries. >click to read<

Energy policy plan first, then offshore wind if needed – Offshore wind project needs to be vetted in NH

Here are two offshore wind farm opinion pieces in the media written by  New Hampshire fisherman David Goethel. Energy policy plan first, then offshore wind if needed – With the presidential primary and annual town meetings in the rearview mirror, Seacoast residents can set their sights on the next big public policy debate. A massive wind energy facility often referred to as wind farms may be built off the coast of New Hampshire and residents will have to carefully weigh the pros and cons of this undertaking. From previous articles in Seacoast papers, it is obvious that both the political structure and the public have very little understanding of the facts surrounding this construction. >click to read<   Offshore wind project needs to be vetted in NH – If you read last week’s column, you know I called on Congress to task the National Academy of Science with producing a comprehensive energy policy. One question they would answer would be why we need to construct a wind energy facility off New Hampshire when Hydro-Quebec has an enormous surplus of renewable energy going unused because no transmission line has been built to New England. Readers should ask politicians and environmentalists the same question. Meanwhile here are some facts about what is proposed for our shores. >click to read< 19:57

New England: Fishing Industry and offshore windfarmers no closer to finding solutions

The National Marine Fisheries Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, had refused to endorse BOEM’s draft EIS for Vineyard, complaining that fishing concerns were not addressed adequately. This helped trigger the government’s ongoing analysis of offshore wind’s cumulative impacts in the region.,, In public comments on the USCG port-access study, Meghan Lapp, fisheries liaison for frozen fish supplier Seafreeze, a subsidiary of Spain-based conglomerate Grupo Profand, called for the lanes.,, Lapp also called for an assurance of maritime safety that she said would be compromised by radar interference from wind turbines. >click to read< 08:34

Federal study surveys spawning Atlantic Cod – Research area sits in waters zoned for offshore wind projects.

NOAA, the state Division of Marine Fisheries, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth School of Marine Science and Technology are all participating in the study, which is funded by the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. The research is focused on what may be one of the last remaining major seasonal spawning gatherings in the Northwest Atlantic, according to the state Division of Marine Fisheries. “It’s certainly been a persistent spawning aggregation and there are not many in New England,” said fisheries scientist Steve Cadrin, principal investigator on the project for the School of Marine Science and Technology. Atlantic cod populations are at historic lows, hammered by chronic overfishing and climate change. >click to read< 07:06

A fowl wind blows offshore

With the increased science available, showing a variety of impacts, The BOEM (Bureau Of Ocean Energy Management) Lease schedule through 2024 within the Department of Interior should be reevaluated. Since there is no official BOEM Atlantic, director, or administrator that has ever been permanently appointed, the request for a Atlantic review has not been initiated. A reliance on the bidders financial review of the lease sites is how BOEM is determining the viability for development. ( A buyer beware mentality ). This policy is a mistake and is costing the taxpayers millions. Brick Wenzel  >click to read< 21:17

Vineyard Wind to Miss Startup Target Over Permit Delay

“While we need to analyze what a longer permitting timeline will mean for beginning construction, commercial operation in 2022 is no longer expected,” Vineyard Wind Chief Executive Lars Pedersen said in a statement. Vineyard Wind is a joint venture between Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Avangrid Inc. >click to read< 06:12

For offshore wind, expect more delays, review won’t be done until December

The Vineyard Wind project was put on hold indefinitely in August 2019 when the federal government decided to supplement its environmental impact review with a study of the cumulative impact of the many wind farms being proposed along the eastern seaboard. The impact of wind farms on fishermen is a focus of that supplemental review. >click to read< 14:19

Federal review of offshore wind projects raises concerns over delays

The Trump administration’s unexpected review of “potential impacts” of offshore wind-energy projects could be published early this year, but it remains unclear whether publication will clear a logjam that has stalled one of the country’s first large-scale projects, and the dozen to follow.,,, Last year, when the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced an analysis of offshore wind projects slated for construction in U.S. waters, Vineyard Wind, the first affected by it, was caught off guard. Vineyard Wind is proposing a project off the Massachusetts coast.  >click to read< 07:31

Terra-Gen Critics Said We Should Wait for Offshore Wind, But Will That Project Spark an Even Nastier Debate?

Last month, under intense public pressure, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors rejected the $300 million Humboldt Wind Energy Project, bringing a dramatic end to the most polarizing countywide policy debate this community has seen in years.,, But if anyone thought we could sidestep controversy by moving wind energy proposals from land to sea, well, think again. In conversations with the Outpost, local and regional stakeholders expressed serious concerns about a range of issues, including conflicts with the fishing industry, impacts to birds and marine life and more. FIGHT! >click to read< 10:42

BOEM Report Key to Offshore Wind’s Future

The forthcoming report from the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) on the cumulative environmental impacts of the Vineyard Wind project will determine the future of offshore wind development. BOEM’s decision isn’t just the remaining hurdle for the 800-megawatt project, but also the gateway for 6 gigawatts of offshore wind facilities planned between the Gulf of Maine and Virginia. >click to read< 15:48

Seabrook: New Hampshire Fishermen deserve voice in offshore wind plans

Selectmen are abandoning a task force looking at offshore wind turbines in the Gulf of Maine, demanding their local fishermen have more direct inclusion.,, Fishing communities like in Seabrook have expressed strong concerns about the turbines’ impact on the ocean and the fish they harvest for a living.,,  They said in their letter to the OSI they wanted fishermen to have a direct seat on the task force, which is comprised of elected officials from New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine. >click to read< 18:08

Offshore Wind Awaits Federal Environmental Reports

The latest industry initiative is the expansion of a cable factory in Charleston, S.C., where Paris-based Nexans plans to make some 620 miles of high-voltage power lines for the five wind projects under development by the utility Eversource and Danish energy company Ørsted. The companies declined to say how the five-year contract was granted. Nexans is also building a new cable-laying vessel with a 10,000-ton capacity.,,, The report was quickly criticized by representatives from the squid and scallop industry who said the 1-mile spacing between the turbines doesn’t improve safety and the layout restricts fishing. “This is the biggest screwup to hit our oceans ever,” said Dellinger, who is chairman of the Rhode Island Fishermen’s Advisory Board. >click to read< 16:58

Interior Department Considers Cable Plan to Wire Ocean Floor for Wind Farms Off NJ-NY Coast

As New Jersey and New York governors press for energy from giant wind turbines along the Atlantic coast and in the New York Bight, the question of how to best get the power to the shore has resulted in a call for public comment. Anbaric Development Partners LLC has applied to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management for a right-of-way to construct a New York and New Jersey Ocean Grid. According to the application, Ocean Grid is a proposed submarine system of cables approximately 185 nautical miles (213 statute miles) in length and including the construction of up to nine “offshore collector platforms,” or OCP. >click to read< 09:23

Top climate hawk bashes first big offshore wind project. Sheldon??

For the past seven years, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse has given a weekly address about the dangers of climate change. Increasingly, some greens wonder if he is full of hot air. The Rhode Island Democrat, one of the Senate’s top climate hawks, has emerged as a leading critic of Vineyard Wind, an 84-turbine offshore wind project proposed in federal waters 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard.,,, Whitehouse’s statements echo concerns of Rhode Island squid fishermen, who have emerged as leading opponents of Vineyard Wind. >click to read< 12:21

Trump aide offers no guidance on Vineyard Wind

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management put the offshore wind farm on hold indefinitely in early August while it tries to gain a better understanding of the cumulative impact of the many East Coast wind farm projects currently in the pipeline. With the project in danger of being canceled if the delay lasts too long, James Bennett, the renewable energy program manager at the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, gave no indication of when the agency’s review will be completed. >click to read<  08:33

Offshore Wind Energy Looks More Promising for Oregon

A stretch of the Pacific Ocean off the coast between Humboldt County, California, and Coos Bay, Oregon, has some of the highest wind power generating potential in the country. The area north of the California border looks particularly promising to green energy advocates because the region already has a functioning electric grid. But a past attempt to install five floating turbines off Coos Bay faced rising costs and opposition from the fishing industry, and was eventually moved to California when no one could be found to buy the high-priced power the facility planned to generate. >click to read< 11:24

“We don’t even know what the rules of the road are,” Fishermen unsatisfied with wind turbine plans

Rhode Island commercial fishermen sat down a year ago with offshore wind developers, they say they made it clear that for the sake of navigational safety the minimum spacing of any turbines installed in ocean waters needs to be at least one nautical mile in every direction.,,,“It’s the exact thing we’ve been saying for years,” said Lanny Dellinger, the Newport lobsterman who chairs the board. “That’s the minimal ask for us.”,,,In Rhode Island, representatives of Ørsted were conciliatory and the meeting was generally cordial, but at the heart of the discussions over the South Fork project is a larger clash between two industries, one legacy and the other nascent,,, >click to read<  07:46

Vineyard Wind Gasping for Air Until 2020

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has delayed the construction off our coast of Vineyard Wind, the country’s first commercial scale offshore wind farm, until 2020. I believe President Trump is squarely behind all the concerns of the commercial fishing industry that haven’t been adequately resolved by the wind farm folks, and if you don’t get the problems addressed now, as Carlos Santana would say, “you can forget about it.” Because five other offshore wind projects are planned adjacent to the site. Phil Paleologos >click to read< 19:58

Wind turbines and fishing nets fight for offshore space

Vineyard Wind,,,  In 2010, BOEM launched an initiative dubbed “Smart from the Start,” which aimed to steer wind development away from prime fishing areas, shipping lanes and sensitive marine habitat prior to leasing.,,, New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell. “There are some squid fishermen, mostly from Rhode Island, and some lobstermen who fish in there, but the value of the area’s annual fish landings is modest, especially compared to the lease areas proposed off of New York.”,,, Also important: Few members of New Bedford’s scallop fleet fish in the waters off Massachusetts.,,,But if scallopers can live with offshore wind development off Massachusetts, others are vehemently opposed. Rhode Island fishermen trawl for squid in the area.  >click to read< 09:19

CT offshore wind may face some rough seas

The state and its offshore-wind-loving neighbors all face a year-end expiration of a federal tax credit that helps finance these projects – the first major attempts in the U.S. But in Connecticut some problems – including at least one self-inflicted one – could mean forgoing that money.,, One part of that balancing act involves the fishing industry, which seems to have driven the delay after the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), a division of NOAA, refused to sign off on the Vineyard Wind environmental impact statement. Indeed, the fishing industry is among the few cheering the government’s protracted analysis of the plan.,,, >click to read<  09:48

Opinion: Responsible Offshore Development Alliance Statement on Vineyard Wind Federal Review Process

In light of the recent decision by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to perform a cumulative impacts analysis regarding the proposed Vineyard Wind project, and the recently released communications between that agency and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), RODA would like to clarify certain statements and representations.  >click to read< 08:27

Exclusive: First big U.S. offshore wind project hits snag due to fishing-industry concerns

Vineyard Wind, a joint venture between Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Avangrid Inc (AGR.N), was scheduled to begin,,, Documents seen by Reuters, which have not previously been made public, show the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) triggered the delays by declining to sign off on the project’s design, as proposed by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the lead agency on offshore wind projects.,,, In an April 16 letter to BOEM, Michael Pentony, regional administrator for NOAA Fisheries’ Greater Atlantic office, said his agency could not support the environmental permit for Vineyard Wind because the project failed to fully address the concerns of the fishing industry.,,, >click to read< 08:26

Baker, Vineyard Wind mum on Feds’ project guidance – Why Vineyard Wind should’nt proceed without answers

The federal government has offered new “guidance” on the Vineyard Wind offshore wind project, Gov. Charlie Baker said, but neither the governor’s team nor project officials will talk about it. The Baker administration chose Vineyard Wind in May 2018 for the state’s first commercial-scale offshore wind effort under a 2016 clean energy law and state officials are counting on the project,, On Wednesday, a Baker spokesman declined to comment when asked about the nature of the project guidance. >Click to read< 16:28 Offshore wind should not go forward until there are answers – Val Oliver – BOEM assures us that Vineyard Wind’s self-imposed, mitigation efforts will protect the critically endangered North Atlantic Right Whales in their Dynamic Management Area and important migratory path. But Vineyard Wind is going to be allowed to “self- monitor, self-restrict, and self- report” without any state or federal oversight or enforcement.>click to read<

Vineyard Wind project lands in rough waters

The project, jointly owned by Avangrid and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, had seemed to be gathering permits the way a kid gathers shells on the beach. One after another, the developer added them to the bucket. Then the snag: The Edgartown Conservation Commission on Wednesday denied an underwater cable route off the town’s coastline, citing the potential disturbance to marine habitats and other conflicts. (Local fishermen weren’t happy, either.) On Friday, Vineyard Wind vowed to get a “superseding order” from the state Department of Environmental Protection – a more sympathetic venue – that would overturn the commission vote. More trouble lurks: Vineyard Wind also disclosed that the US Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management would not issue a crucial permit, as expected, this week,,, >click to read<10:43

Developer: We won’t pursue wind farm in waters off Hamptons

The developer of one of the largest of three proposed wind farms contemplated for the waters off the Hamptons has withdrawn its tentative plan in favor of sites to the west, and is urging the federal government to restrict turbines from East End waters, according to the Germany-based developer’s top U.S. official.,, Bill White, managing director of East Wind LLC, a subsidiary of EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG, said Friday the decision to withdraw and recommend against development off the Hamptons was primarily related to concerns about impacts on fishing. >click to read<10:08

Vineyard Wind dealt blows on two fronts: Edgartown commission rejects cables; feds delay EIS

… Meanwhile, federal officials have also put the project’s approval and overall timeline into jeopardy. According to a statement posted on Vineyard Wind’s website, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is not yet ready to issue a final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the project. A decision had been expected Friday to clear the way for construction to begin by the end of 2019 on the 84-turbine wind farm.,,, To this point, Vineyard Wind has cruised along beating out two other offshore wind projects with leases south of Martha’s Vineyard. But, more recently, the project has received considerably more pushback as the extent of the project became clear to fishermen and others. >click to read< 12:45

Maine Governor Mills signs wind bill, announces plans to advance offshore energy

Stalled efforts to test a floating wind farm off the Maine coast got back on track Wednesday after Gov. Janet Mills signed legislation directing the Public Utilities Commission to approve the contract for Maine Aqua Ventus, a first-of-its-kind wind project in the United States.,,, Mills also announced two collaborative efforts to put the state back in the game for offshore wind energy research.,,, Mills also announced that she will create the Maine Offshore Wind Initiative. The state-based program will identify opportunities for offshore wind development in the Gulf of Maine,,, will promote compatibility between potential future uses and existing uses, such as Maine’s commercial fishing and maritime industries. >click to read<08:27

Mills signs $8 billion budget, bills including Green New Deal, plastic bag ban – >click to read<