Feb 3 (Reuters) – The Biden administration said on Wednesday it would restart permitting for the first major U.S. offshore wind farm, reversing a Trump administration decision that canceled the process late last year.
The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) said in a statement it would resume environmental review of the Vineyard Wind project as part of the administration’s broad plan to speed renewable energy development on federal lands and waters.
“BOEM is committed to conducting a robust and timely review of the proposed project,” Director Amanda Lefton said in the statement.
In December, Vineyard Wind requested a pause in the federal permitting process while it determined whether changes to its design were necessary because of a switch in turbine manufacturers, prompting BOEM to terminate its entire review.
Former President Donald Trump had promised to support the nascent U.S. industry as part of his energy dominance agenda, but the permitting of Vineyard Wind was delayed repeatedly in part due to concerns its turbines would interfere with commercial fishing.
Vineyard Wind is a joint venture between Avangrid Inc , a unit of Spain’s Iberdrola, and Denmark’s Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners. The project is 15 miles (24 km) off the coast of Massachusetts. Once constructed, it is expected to provide power to more than 400,000 Massachusetts homes.
A Vineyard Wind official was not immediately available for comment. (Reporting by Nichola Groom; Editing by Leslie Adler and Peter Cooney)
(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2021.
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