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Vineyard Wind Collaborates with SMAST on Study of Offshore Wind Effects

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Vineyard Wind, based in New Bedford, Massachusetts, has entered into a collaborative agreement with the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science and Technology to plan and conduct pre- and post-construction assessments of fisheries and associated ecological conditions related to offshore wind projects. The assessment would be used to inform future permitting and public policy decisions regarding wind energy facility siting.
Vineyard Wind Collaborates with SMAST on Study of Offshore Wind Effects
Courtesy of Vineyard Wind

“Our goal in collaborating with the School for Marine Science and Technology is to use our project, which we expect to be the first large-scale offshore wind project in the US, to begin to establish a robust body of knowledge that will benefit the American offshore wind industry and the fishing community for decades to come,” said Erich Stephens, Chief Development Officer with Vineyard Wind

According to the agreement, SMAST staff will undertake a scoping exercise by soliciting input from fisheries’ representatives, policy makers, regulators and academics beginning in the spring of 2018. The objective of this scoping exercise is to identify the research questions most relevant and important for understanding how offshore wind and the fishing industry can grow alongside each other in the future.

Vineyard Wind has provided an initial funding commitment to jump start the scoping process. The company, 50% owned by funds of Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and 50% by Avangrid Renewables, has also committed to contributing additional funding for complete pre- and post-construction assessments by SMAST if it is selected to develop a proposed offshore wind project off the Massachusetts coast.

Vineyard Wind, along with Baystate Wind and Deepwater Wind, submitted bids on the offshore wind project, expected to be the first large-scale offshore wind project in the US, in December of 2017. The solicitation for the project was issued in June and judges will choose the first-round winner this month.

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