Last year, former President Donald Trump’s decision to rule out energy development along the Florida, Georgia and Carolina coasts barred not only offshore oil and gas drilling, but also coastal wind farms. The Biden administration said that it had reopened the permit application for the first commercial-scale offshore wind farm in U.S. federal waters this year.
In a statement, the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) said that as part of the administration’s detailed plan to accelerate renewable energy development on federal lands and waters, it would restart to review the Vineyard Wind project.
“BOEM is committed to conducting a robust and timely review of the proposed project,” Director Amanda Lefton said in the statement.
While determining whether modifications to its design were necessary due to a switch in turbine manufacturers, Vineyard Wind requested a pause in the federal permitting process, prompting BOEM to terminate its entire review.
As part of former President Donald Trump’s energy plan, he promised to support the nascent U.S. industry. However, there were concerns that Vineyard Wind’s turbines would obstruct commercial fishing activity; it has caused the organisations’ permission to be delayed multiple times.
Vineyard Wind works together with Avangrid Inc, and Iberdrola unit of Spain, and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners of Denmark. The project is located 15 miles (24 km) off the Massachusetts coast. The project will power approximately 400,000 Massachusetts homes once the wind turbines are built.
“We’re very pleased,” Vineyard Wind said in a statement. “We look forward to working with the agency as we launch an industry that will create thousands of good paying jobs while also taking meaningful steps to reduce the impact of climate change.”
A fishing industry group, The Responsible Offshore Development Alliance, said it hoped the permitting process’s resumption would provide the public with new opportunities to weigh in on the project.