A sequence of lawsuits is threatening America’s first main offshore wind mission.
That might spell bother for President Joe Biden’s aim to slash planet-warming air pollution. The Winery Wind mission — a 62-turbine facility deliberate for the waters off Martha’s Winery — would generate giant quantities of the carbon-free electrical energy wanted to energy the Northeast, writes POLITICO’s E&E Information reporter Benjamin Storrow.
Massachusetts utilities signed a contract to purchase the mission’s energy as soon as it’s up and operating. However landowners and fishing teams are difficult the federal environmental allow issued to Winery Wind.
The lawsuits argue that the Bureau of Ocean Power Administration didn’t adequately consider the potential impression the mission might need on native fishermen and the critically endangered North American proper whale, amongst different points.
One of many instances entails a outstanding conservative suppose tank referred to as the Texas Public Coverage Basis, which has a historical past of attacking photo voltaic and wind power tasks and selling fossil fuels. The group represents 5 fishing firms and the Lengthy Island Business Fishing Affiliation. A second lawsuit comes from a fishing commerce group, and two others have been filed by residents in Nantucket and Martha’s Winery.
A BOEM spokesperson didn’t reply to Ben’s request for remark, and an official with Winery Wind declined to remark.
The primary proposed offshore wind mission within the U.S., Cape Wind, ultimately met its finish in 2017. Years of beating again lawsuits created an interminable delay that finally killed the enterprise.
However the context is way completely different at present, Timothy Fox, an analyst at ClearView Power Companions, advised Ben.
The businesses behind Winery Wind — Avangrid and Copenhagen Infrastructure Companions — are skilled at constructing offshore wind developments in European waters. And the Biden administration, anticipating authorized scrutiny, seems to have proceeded cautiously, Fox mentioned.
Plus, the Trump administration had ordered a cumulative impression evaluation of the mission, which might additionally protect it from a few of the latest complaints — although nothing is definite.
Winery Wind has begun laying transmission cable for the mission, and turbine set up is scheduled to start this summer time.
It’s Wednesday — thanks for tuning in to POLITICO’s Energy Change. I’m your host, Arianna Skibell. Energy Change is dropped at you by the journalists behind E&E Information and POLITICO Power. Ship your ideas, feedback, inquiries to [email protected]
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