Biden Administration Issues Final Approval for Vineyard Wind Project

BOSTON, MA (May 11, 2021) – Today, the Biden-Harris Administration took an important step forward for climate action. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) issued the Record of Decision for Vineyard Wind, the nation’s first large-scale offshore wind project. With this final approval, Vineyard Wind should be able to move forward with construction this year and begin providing clean, affordable power to Massachusetts in 2023. This is a critical action in our nation’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate the worst impacts of the climate crisis on our health, environment, and wildlife. 

New England for Offshore Wind, a broad-based coalition of associations, businesses, environmental and justice organizations, institutions, and labor unions, applauds the federal government’s action to advance this clean energy industry off our shores. Done right, this industry has the potential to create tens of thousands of high-quality, family sustaining jobs; provide health benefits to vulnerable communities through pollution reduction; ensure equity in economic benefits; coexist with existing ocean uses; and protect wildlife and the environment every step of the way. All this can be done while providing affordable, reliable, clean energy to our region. 

Accelerating responsibly developed offshore wind is the single biggest action we can take to reduce our carbon emissions and address the climate crisis while simultaneously growing our economy in New England. We must advance responsibly developed offshore wind with urgency and ensure its success by driving regional collaboration and investments in innovation, infrastructure, workforce development, and a local supply chain.  

New England for Offshore Wind is proud of the early actions by our region to develop this industry and we welcome a partnership with the Federal government to move this industry forward responsibly. We look forward to working with the New England states and our federal partners to drive regional collaboration and advance the responsible development of this industry so that we can transition to a green and fair economy for all. 

Susannah Hatch, Environmental League of Massachusetts Clean Energy Coalition Director and New England for Offshore Wind Regional Lead said: 
We applaud BOEM for issuing its final approval to Vineyard Wind. This move paves the way for a thriving offshore wind industry in the United States, and ensures that New England will be a hub for this game-changing clean energy industry. With strong, consistent winds off our shores and high energy demand on the coast, responsibly developed offshore wind will be the workhorse of our decarbonization efforts in our region – and it holds enormous potential to grow the economy, meet our energy needs, and create equitable economic benefits for decades to come. 

Collin O’Mara, National Wildlife Federation president & CEO said:
“The national significance of this milestone cannot be overstated. We’ve been advocating for the responsible development of U.S. offshore wind power for more than a decade and we applaud the Biden Administration’s unwavering commitment to harnessing its potentialThis decision marks an important step toward launching a critical clean energy solution that can create good-paying union jobs and ensure a healthy future for people and wildlife alike. We are committed to continue working with the Biden Administration, Vineyard Wind and other industry leaders, and our conservation partners to ensure that this and all other offshore wind projects are guided by science and stakeholder input and that protections for wildlife, like the endangered North Atlantic right whale, are at the center of planning and development.” 

Rob Werner, League of Conservation Voters NH State Director and New England for Offshore Wind NH State Committee Chair said: 
“The League of Conservation Voters strongly supports the efforts of the Biden-Harris Administration to develop the offshore wind industry as a key climate action strategy for LCV. The final approval of the Vineyard Wind project is an important milestone and we look forward to the development of additional offshore wind projects in the years ahead.”  

Jennifer Benson, Alliance for Business Leadership President and New England for Offshore Wind MA State Committee Co-Chair said:
With this historic decision by the Biden-Harris Administration, Massachusetts will lead the nation with the first largescale offshore wind operation in the United StatesThe final federal approval of Vineyard Wind, as the first of several offshore wind projects slated for construction in the region in the coming years, positions New England as the national hub for a growing industry that will create jobs and opportunities for communities previously left behind in the clean energy economy.”

Cindy Luppi, Clean Water Action New England Director said:
We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to shift away from the polluting energy sources of the past and invest in the carbon-free economy mandated by our climate laws. We support the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to offshore wind and other green infrastructure that will help us build back better from the pandemic. Today’s final approval of the Vineyard Wind proposal is a great step forward towards a healthier and brighter future in New England.

Anne Kelly, Ceres Vice President of Government Relations said: 
“With today’s Vineyard Wind decision, the Biden Administration is paving the way for an entire industry to provide the U.S. with clean, renewable energy.  Offshore wind projects like Vineyard Wind will be a catalyst for supply chains and businesses that can and should build a diverse workforce with thousands of good-paying, union jobs and vital clean energy.  This announcement once again demonstrates that the Biden administration recognizes the connection between climate action and job growth.”

Winston Vaughan, Health Care Without Harm Director of Climate Solutions said:
“President Biden’s decision to give a green light to the nation’s first utility scale offshore wind farm is a giant leap for our efforts to build an energy system that ‘does no harm’ to our health and our climate. Today’s decision to approve the Vineyard Wind project will mean fewer patients in our ERs tomorrow and a safer, more stable climate for generations to come.”

Heidi Ricci, Mass Audubon Director of Policy and Advocacy said:
Mass Audubon supports the responsible development of offshore wind which includes protections for birds, bats, marine mammals, and other wildlife. Offshore wind is essential to protect people and nature from climate change impacts already underway, including sea level rise, more intense storms, and extreme heat and droughts. The approval of this project is a critical first step in the path to decarbonizing our energy production, and demonstrates real commitment to changing the path we are on. 

Susan Helms Daley of Mothers Out Front said:
“Mothers Out Front enthusiastically celebrates the momentum that the Biden-Harris administration is bringing to offshore wind with the BOEM’s final approval of the Vineyard Wind project. This 62-turbine project not only boosts MA’s efforts in the urgent fight against climate change but also will: protect kids by reducing our reliance on asthma-causing fossil fuels, create thousands of green jobs and strictly protect wildlife and fisheries.” 

Andrew Gottlieb, Executive Director of the Association to Preserve Cape Cod said:
“APCC congratulates Vineyard Wind on finally reaching this landmark achievement with a record of decision from BOEM that reflects the careful preparation of a comprehensive project plan that includes precedent-setting commitments—especially for protecting critically endangered North Atlantic right whales and other rare species—as well as monitoring programs and other mitigation measures that will safeguard both the marine environment and land-based natural resources. APCC also applauds BOEM and the Biden administration for resetting our national policy in support of renewable energy and the development of the offshore wind industry. The record of decision for Vineyard Wind is a historic day for our nation. It is the launching point for the expansion of offshore wind and the transition toward a carbon-free energy future.”

Eric Hines, Director of the Tufts University Offshore Wind Graduate Program said:
“We applaud this landmark decision by the Biden-Harris administrationFor 20 years, Massachusetts has led the nation on our path toward a thriving offshore wind industry: from introducing the first U.S. project; to negotiating the nation’s largest lease areas; to leading cutting-edge research; to developing the first and finest port infrastructure; to issuing epoch-making legislation and procuring affordable prices. All eyes are now on Vineyard Wind to deliver this historic project. We wish them Godspeed and we are proud to support them in this next major step toward our clean energy future.”

Rebecca NewberryBlueGreen Alliance Northeast Regional Program Manager said:
“The BlueGreen Alliance is in full support of widescale offshore wind projects that not only generate clean energy for millions of Americans, but which also provide workers with good, union jobs. The approval of Vineyard Wind is a great step in that direction.”

Steven Tolman, Massachusetts AFL-CIO President said: 
“It is crucial that we treat the dual crisis of climate change and income inequality at the same time so that we create good jobs with standards as we transition to renewable energy. We are thrilled that the Biden Administration is committed to doing just that – by ensuring that wind jobs are union jobs, which are the safest and most highly trained jobs in the industry, and come with family-sustaining wages and benefits that allow workers to invest in their communities.”

Chris Niezrecki, WindSTAR Industry-University Cooperative Research Center Director said:
“The Biden-Harris Administration took a major step closer to achieving clean energy with BOEM approval of the Vineyard Wind project.  UMass Lowell is proud of the wind research generated through our NSF funded WindSTAR program.  The region has taken another giant step closer to meeting our clean energy goals.” 

Sanjay Arwade, Associate Director of the UMass Amherst Wind Energy Center said: 
The Wind Energy Center at UMass Amherst, advancing wind energy since 1972, is proud to be a part of the Nation-leading offshore wind ecosystem in Massachusetts.  We congratulate Vineyard Wind and applaud the Biden-Harris administration for this decision.  Moving Vineyard Wind forward ensures that Massachusetts and New England will continue to lead the Nation towards its clean energy future. 

Deb Pasternak, Sierra Club Massachusetts Director said:
The Biden-Harris administration continues to demonstrate their commitment to climate action by supporting the responsible development of large-scale clean energy. Through offshore wind projects like Vineyard Wind, we are building a just, regional renewable energy economy that provides clean, affordable electricity and good paying jobs – all while advancing climate solutions.