Tag Archives: Vineyard Wind

Fishermen displaced by offshore wind farm apply for compensation

Vineyard Wind, the offshore wind developer, is constructing a 62-turbine wind farm in the federal waters south of New Bedford, the nation’s most lucrative fishing port. Uncertainty around whether it’s safe to fish inside offshore wind farms have soured many fishermen to the industry, even as wind developers offer new sources of income to fishermen willing to take on surveying, navigation and safety work. At the meeting at the port authority, a recently retired fisherman consulting for Vineyard Wind acknowledged this tension upfront. “I know how a lot of people feel about offshore wind,” said Fred Mattera. “Believe me, if I could click my heels and it’ll all go away, I’d be clicking my heels like you can’t imagine.” “But it’s not,” Mattera said. more, >>click to read<< 08:29

Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut receive proposals for offshore wind projects

Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut received proposals Wednesday for offshore wind projects as the three East Coast states hope to boost their reliance on the renewable energy source. The three states joined in a historic agreement that allows for potential coordinated selection of offshore wind projects. Massachusetts received bids from Avangrid Renewables, South Coast Wind Energy and Vineyard Offshore in response to the region’s largest solicitation to date for offshore wind, seeking up to 3,600 megawatts. more, >>click to read<< 08:07

Wind turbines and a shadow over Island fishers

Their boat is named Redemption. And as seventeen-year-old Tegan Gale walked onto the lobster boat docked at Tashmoo landing on a warm March Day, he was thinking about what the boat meant to him and about his future. Tegan says he loves being out on the water, and he wants to keep the family tradition alive, but he’s up against what he sees as big business and a lot of uncertainty. And now, there’s another layer of uncertainty: the new offshore wind industry. Tegan isn’t alone. Several Island fishermen say the new industry has the potential to disrupt their work for years to come. They have questions about the impacts of underwater cables extending from the turbines and dragging nets over the high-voltage wires. They also have fears about the impact to sea life during construction of the offshore wind farms. more, >>click to read<< 13:26

Sorting out the details of offshore wind compensation plans

Owners of commercial fishing vessels or permits can now sign up for compensation to cover economic losses attributed to the region’s offshore wind installations. Millions in funds are available, but the process can be complicated. Vineyard Wind entered an agreement with Massachusetts in 2020, establishing a $19 million fund to compensate affected fishermen and shoreside businesses that provide goods or services to the fishing industry. But we’ve got the processes explained in simple terms, with step-by-step graphics on the two projects currently underway — Vineyard Wind and South Fork Wind. As for captains and crew, the owners and operators are “strongly encouraged to share annual compensation payments” with them, but the program does not require it. more, >>click to read<< 09:01

‘A lot of people are upset.’ Vineyard Wind compensation offer for fishermen stirs worries

Commercial fishers who are sharing part of their customary fishing waters with Vineyard Wind may be eligible for compensation through the developers Fisheries Compensatory Mitigation Program. Eric Hesse, chairman of the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance board, said most of the fishing in the lease area is by dragging. The sandy bottom there is a habitat for fluke, or summer flounder, one of the most important commercial and recreational flatfishes, according to the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries. It’s also habitat for longfin squid, skates and monkfish, as well as a fishing area for scallops, sea clams and ocean quahog. But pelagic fish, like tuna — which he fishes for — also migrate through the area. “Who knows how that fishery may be affected,” he said. “It’s a sticky thing and a lot of people are upset.” more, >>click to read<< 07:06

Island Fishermen Unlikely to Benefit from Vineyard Wind Fund

A program aimed at compensating fishermen for lost revenues during the construction and operation of the first offshore wind farm south of the Vineyard will not benefit Island-based fishermen, according to a representative from the Martha’s Vineyard Fishermen’s Preservation Trust. But according to Martha’s Vineyard Fishermen’s Preservation Trust president John Keene, the restrictive requirements to qualify for the fund will leave local fishermen in the lurch. Mr. Keene also noted that money from the fund will go to vessel owner/operators, who are not obligated to distribute funds to their crew. Island fishermen who crew for New Bedford-based vessels as part of the season, therefore, might also be left out of the compensation, even if they work on ships in the lease area. more, >>click to read<< 12:07

Nantucket’s Rich Are Losing the Battle to Keep Wind Power Out of Their Backyards

A newly erected wind turbine off the coast of the pristine sandy beaches of Nantucket rises about 850 feet from the ocean surface, higher than any building in Boston, spinning blades about 350 feet long. It’s a marvel of human ingenuity, a shot at a carbon-free future — and the scourge of wealthy denizens of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. A raft of lawsuits from residents and fishing industry groups have complained about everything from obstructed views to marine life hazards and disruptions to whales. But the energy company Avangrid completed the first of 62 giant wind turbines last month, promising enough juice to power more than 400,000 homes and business in Massachusetts. >>click to read<< 10:51

Rhode Island fishermen fear offshore wind farm project could jeopardize thriving squid industry

On the coast of Narragansett lies the pulse of the Rhode Island fishing industry. Dozens of boats travel to sea multiple times a day to reel in fish, which are then brought back to shore to be processed at fish houses and packaged for sale. Squid dominates the fishing industry in Rhode Island, but a group of fishermen worry a major wind farm project will put everything they work for at risk. The concerns prompted SeaFreeze to file a federal lawsuit in 2021 to stop the project, which will place 62 turbines off Martha’s Vineyard to power 400,000 homes. Construction is already well underway and by the end of the year, the installation could produce up to 300 megawatts of power. Video, photos, >>click to read<< 07:53

Wind energy expansion raises concerns over fishing industry’s future

The burgeoning development of offshore wind energy along the East Coast is drawing attention to a growing concern: the potential impact on the livelihoods of commercial fishermen who operate in these waters. The collision between the expanding renewable energy sector and the established fishing industry has ignited a debate over the future of these shared waters. While not all fishing organizations oppose offshore wind projects, some fishermen, such as Dave Aripotch in Montauk, N.Y., have expressed fears that their industry is at risk. They argue that their concerns have been overshadowed by the rapid push for clean energy solutions. Video, >>click to read<< 09:18

CT innovator IDs illegal trawlers with AI and ears in the ocean

With millions of dollars from venture capital investors, a Connecticut startup that emerged from the submarine industry is using artificial intelligence to pioneer new underwater technology, from tracking illegal fishing to protecting whales during construction of offshore wind farms. Miles off the U.S. coast, Groton-based ThayerMahan is readying a nautical network of buoys and roaming sea drones to ID commercial fishing trawlers that may be operating illegally, whether in U.S. territorial waters or those of other nations where catch limits are abused routinely to put pressure on fish stocks. Closer to home in partnership with Hydrotechnik-Luebeck based in Germany, ThayerMahan is assisting offshore wind developers with a system to “bubble wrap” wind turbine monopiles with curtains of sound-absorbing bubbles,,, Photos, >click to read< 16:50

Offshore wind isn’t a partisan issue. This is how real NJ people will be impacted

Much has been written and reported about the plans to build offshore wind turbine developments off the East Coast of the United States. Proponents argue that clean energy is better for the environment, more affordable, that in areas where these systems will operate they will generate jobs and that other countries have already installed offshore wind turbines. Opponents argue that the turbine developments will affect the economy of shore communities, commercial and recreational fishing, marine mammals and birds, public safety and national security. Some proponents have even gone so far as to mislabel and attack the opponents of offshore wind as partisan and backed by oil companies, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, the rush to set up offshore wind has been advanced only by partisan politics and internationally backed lobbying efforts without studying the impact these turbines will have in their current planned placement in many cases less than 15 miles from our shores. 12:22 minute video, >click to read< 11:29

The ‘very liberal’ doctor, the pro-GOP car dealer and the movement against offshore wind

This story is based on interviews with a dozen people who are organizing efforts to oppose offshore wind projects, as well as scientists and environmentalists. E&E News also reviewed tax documents, regulatory filings and emails obtained under New Jersey’s Freedom of Information Act. The wind opponents are gaining traction. Some Republicans in Congress have called for a moratorium on offshore wind projects. In New Jersey, where the debate has been particularly fierce, more than 40 mayors organized by a D.C. lobbyist called for a wind moratorium, and a recent poll found that more residents support halting wind projects (39 percent) than building them (35 percent). Wind detractors have packed public meetings in Rhode Island, and opponents have filed lawsuits in Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey to halt projects. >click to read< 14:49

Massive Offshore Wind Project Gets Underway with Permission to ‘Take’ Endangered Whales

A large offshore wind farm development project is underway off the Massachusetts coast nearly two years after the project’s developer received 20 “take” permits in June 2021 for the endangered right whale from environmental bureaucrats and regulators. Vineyard Wind began offshore construction of the 62- wind turbine project Thursday, according to WBUR. During this summer’s construction of the offshore wind farm some 15 miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, the company is permitted to incidentally kill up to 20 endangered right whales, according to the Federal Register entry for the project. >click to read< 12:41

Ship carrying parts for offshore wind turbines arrives in New Bedford

New Bedford was once the city that lit the world, exporting vast quantities of whale oil for lamps in the early 1800s. Workers packed the docks, unloading casks of oil that had been extracted at sea from whale carcasses and brought in by a fleet of hundreds of whaling ships. Nearly two centuries later New Bedford aspires to light the world again, in a different relationship with the sea, as the offshore wind industry arrives here. On Wednesday, the vessel UHL Felicity bringing wind turbine tower sections from Portugal reached the Port of New Bedford. Once assembled out on the water this summer by developer Vineyard Wind, the turbines will stand more than 850 feet high. “There’s this sort of poetic coming-about for New Bedford as a center of energy,” Mayor Jon Mitchell said. Video, >click to read< 09:42

New Bedford’s fishing community is working with Vineyard Wind. Here’s how.

For Captain Tony Alvernaz, accepting a job doing safety work for Vineyard Wind has provided added income for his family and the families of the people who work for him. They are monitoring the work zone for Vineyard Wind as the company proceeds with turbine installation and at the same time are helping get the word out to other fishermen, according to Crista Bank, the fisheries manager at Vineyard Wind. Bank said the involvement of fishing vessels in the project is really important and that the same opportunities are offered to a single vessel owner, a scallop owner with a couple of boats or vessels that are up to international standards. “We’re trying to make sure we’re contracting with all different sized vessels and vessel owners,” she said. >click to read< 08:10

Blown Away: Offshore wind regulators ignore danger to fishing industry

“This industry, this group of people in the room today, really are the key to unlocking that clean energy future,” Beaudreau, the deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, proclaimed at a conference hosted by the American Clean Power Association, a lobbying group largely funded by offshore wind developers. Just one year earlier, Beaudreau had been a corporate lawyer, earning part of his $2.4 million income from offshore wind developers. Then he was appointed to regulate the industry he was previously paid to represent. During Beaudreau’s tenure, developers including several of his former clients have gained preliminary or final approvals for an unprecedented expansion of offshore wind, despite repeated warnings from federal scientists about potential harms to marine life and the fishing industry. Photos, >click to read< 07:48

Intense reaction to wind/fishing investigation>click to read the comments< 4/25/2023

Lawsuit claims US federal government violated regulations in approving Massachusetts offshore wind project

A Texas non-profit research institute that aims to promote free enterprise in Texas and the nation is acting on behalf of fishing companies in Massachusetts, a state 2,000 miles away, in a lawsuit that seeks to stop development of the Vineyard Wind offshore wind project. The Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) has named the US Department of the Interior, the US Department of Commerce, the US Department of Defense and other agencies and individuals as defendants in the suit. The lawsuit, filed in December 2021, claims the defendants violated the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and their respective rules and regulations. >click to read< 10:54

Mammoet Wins Contracts for Two ‘large’ Offshore Wind Projects in United States

Heavy lift and transport services firm Mammoet said Monday it had secured contracts for two large offshore wind projects for undisclosed clients in the United States, both of which begin in 2023. The contracts set for 2023 have been secured for work on two new offshore wind farms being built off New England’s coast. “In the coming year, Ampelmann’s motion compensated gangways will assist with the hook-up, cabling and commissioning of turbines on Vineyard Wind and Southfork Wind Farm, two of the first commercial offshore wind farms in the USA that will provide clean energy to the region,” Ampelmann said. >click to read< 17:50

4 lawsuits threaten Vineyard Wind

The lawsuits against America’s first major offshore wind project are coming to a head. Four cases are challenging the federal environmental permit issued to Vineyard Wind, a 62-turbine facility being planned for construction in the waters off Martha’s Vineyard. A federal judge in Massachusetts heard arguments brought by landowners in two cases in recent weeks. The other two suits, brought by fishing groups, have been consolidated and will appear before the same judge for oral arguments in Boston on Monday. The cases against Vineyard Wind allege that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management conducted an inadequate environmental review when it approved the project by failing to account for its impact on everything from fishermen to the critically endangered North American right whale. >click to read< 07:32

Whale hell looms in Massachusetts

The first of the monster offshore wind arrays is ready to roll, with construction to begin in May. The acoustic hammering on the whales and other sea critters will now escalate from sonar survey blasting to the incredible noise of pile driving. Each huge wind tower sets on an enormous monopile that has to be driven into the sea floor. The project bears the happy name Vineyard Wind but there is no vineyard. Here is how they put it: “Vineyard Wind is currently building the nation’s first utility-scale offshore wind energy project over 15 miles off the coast of Massachusetts.” There are 62 enormous wind towers, each among the world’s biggest at 13 MW. >click to read< 12:54

New Bedford’s Pope’s Island will play a key role in Vineyard Wind construction

A new partnership will meet the demand for fuel for New Bedford’s fishing industry as well as Vineyard Wind, as construction of the offshore wind farm gets under way. Vineyard Wind has signed a partnership with Shoreline Offshore, a joint venture between Quinn Fisheries and SEA.O.G Offshore, a leading integrated logistics provider, to build out a berthing and fueling area on Pope’s Island for crew transfer vessels. Shoreline Offshore was created in 2022 to connect the emerging offshore wind industry with local businesses in and around New Bedford through one central entity. Its mission is to ensure New Bedford’s local marine-based businesses are included in the continued growth of New Bedford’s marine economy. >click to read< 13:21

How offshore wind developers are working around the Jones Act

The U.S. is going to need between four and six gigantic wind turbine installation vessels to support President Joe Biden’s 30 gigawatt-by-2030 offshore wind goal, according to a new Energy Department national lab-led report out this week. It currently has zero finished vessels that comply with the Jones Act, which requires that vessels carrying shipments between points in the United States be owned and crewed by U.S. citizens, registered under the U.S. flag, and built in the United States. Project developers have therefore used, or are planning to use, Jones Act-compliant “feeder” barges to transport wind components from domestic ports out to the project site, where the components are then transferred to a foreign-flagged vessel capable of installing them. >click to read< 14:21

Massachusetts fishermen question impact offshore wind farms will have on their industry

The federal government has established seven wind lease areas for developments, and Vineyard Wind is already under construction, set to be producing energy by late next year or early 2024. And development won’t stop there, said state Rep. Jeffrey Roy, D-Franklin, with Commonwealth Wind and Mayflower Wind joining Vineyard Wind south of Martha’s Vineyard.  “We really don’t have a choice,” Roy said. But Edward Barrett, president of the Massachusetts Fishermen’s Partnership, who’s been in the industry for more than 45 years, said the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, a federal government agency that determines the wind leases, has “a deaf ear” to the concerns of fishermen.  “What impact will that have? Well, no one’s really figured that one out and if it has a negative impact,” Barrett said, “then I’m the one who’s gonna have to pay for that through reductions in my catch allocations.” >click to read< 09:14

Offshore wind farm plans collide with fishing industry concerns off Carolina coast

The Biden administration’s plans to develop wind power off the East Coast are drawing concerns from the fishing industry, in the latest example of climate policy colliding with the livelihood of coastal businesses. Interior officials say they are aware of the concerns and are working on regulatory guidance that would lay out how wind farm developers can minimize harm to commercial and recreational fishing, while compensating businesses for losses. Wednesday’s auction is moving forward before officials finish that work. More lease sales are planned in the next two years for regions off the coast of California, the central Atlantic region and in the Gulf of Mexico. Without federal guidance, offshore wind developers have carved out their own settlements with local fishing groups. “Saddling project proponents with the costs of fisheries compensation would almost certainly have an adverse impact on ratepayers and/or project finance,” association officials said in a January letter to U.S. officials. >click to read< 14:50

Right whale defenders question energy industry donations

A group opposing wind projects off the coast of Massachusetts released a report Tuesday that documents contributions from wind energy developers to environmental groups in the state, donations that the authors of the report say cast questions on the ability of groups to analyze the impacts that wind projects have on the endangered North Atlantic Right Whale. The report, released by the Save Right Whales Coalition, catalogs $4.2 million between wind developers like Vineyard Wind, Bay State Wind, and Orsted to environmental groups in Massachusetts such as the Environmental League of Massachusetts, New England Aquarium, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. >click to read< 09:35

ACK Residents Against Turbines not aligned with fossil fuel money

The Jan. 21 article by Doug Fraser, “Nuclear and Fossil Fuel Advocates, Wind Foes Among Backers of Right Whale Protection Suits,” misleads the public by attempting to draw a false link between ACK Residents Against Turbines, which opposes development of industrial-scale wind farms off the coast of New England, and other groups associated with the fossil fuel industry. Some groups oppose industrial offshore wind development because it will harm pristine ocean views enjoyed by all; others are opposed to the dramatic increase in electric rates experienced by countries that have adopted it or to the devastating impact it will have on commercial fishing. These are all valid concerns. ACK Residents Against Turbines is opposed to the industrialization of our ocean because the turbines, massive offshore substations, and vast undersea high voltage cable systems will damage the fragile marine ecosystem. >click to read< 15:12 By Vallorie Oliver President, Nantucket Residents Against Turbines

Martha’s Vineyard lobstermen oppose NOAA “incidental take” decision

Lobstermen Wayne Iacono and Wes Brighton expressed frustration at the “double-standard” that NOAA seems to be playing by giving Vineyard Wind an incidental “take” count. The Marine Mammals Protection Act defines take as “to harass, hunt, capture, or kill, or attempt to harass, hunt, capture, or kill any marine mammal.” Vineyard Wind is allowed some incidental take, which is “unintentional, but not unexpected, taking,” according to NOAA. One species, in particular, the lobstermen are worried about is the endangered North Atlantic Right Whale. >click to read< 15:41

Offshore Wind: Nantucket project faces lawsuit that could impact Skipjack, U.S. Wind projects

Environmentalists are concerned about impact to sea mammals, such as whales and dolphins, The American Coalition for Ocean Protection  has been created by the Caesar Rodney Institute to push back against offshore wind development, and they have joined the Vineyard Wind legal case as technical advisors. The case against Vineyard Wind could set a precedent for legal action to be taken locally, where Orsted and U.S. Wind have already secured OREC approvals to begin offshore wind development. The Vineyard Wind case claims there could be environmental harm to the threatened right whale from the project. A coalition in Cape Cod, Mass. the Nantucket Residents Against Turbines, in August filed a suit that calls for delay in the development of 2,000 wind turbines off Nantucket Island and Martha’s Vineyard. >click to read<  12:31

Not Right: Offshore Wind Farm Turbines Threaten Endangered North Atlantic Right Whales

The next wind industry victim appears to be the endangered Atlantic Right Whale, which already has plenty of offshore industrial activity to contend with. But oil and gas extraction, international shipping, and commercial fishing have obvious embodied economic benefits. Whereas, the only economic benefit derived from wind power is the subsidies it attracts. No subsidies. No wind power. It’s that simple. So, if a bunch of crony capitalists and their apologists get their way, get ready to kiss goodbye to the Atlantic Right Whale.,, What a pro wind power scientist says. Mark Baumgartner, a senior scientist and marine ecologist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, said in a phone interview that he understands vessel activities and associated construction can seem alarming, but said he doesn’t “envision a lot of impact” on the right whale from wind farms. [he clearly hasn’t given it a second’s consideration, but why would he?]. >click to read< 12:31

Vineyard Wind turbine farm draws CT fishing industry concern

During a meeting Thursday of the Connecticut Commission on Environmental Standards, a collection of regulators, fisherman and politicians, some members suggested that pledged research funding be directed toward protecting fishermen. State Sen. Heather Somers, R-Groton and a commission member, said she was particularly concerned about fisherman based in New London and Stonington. “One of my biggest concerns is the impact on local fishing fleets,” Somers said. “We don’t need a university studying something that does not help our local fishing communities,” Somers noted, referencing the University of Connecticut’s role in the project. >click to read< 08:41