To the Editor:
I am writing with regard to the upcoming MVC hearing on March 21 concerning the Vineyard Wind undersea cable installation off the coast of Edgartown.
I am completely supportive of the Vineyard Wind project, for reasons that I outline below.
It is vital to the future of Martha’s Vineyard that we respond to the need to mitigate the impacts and extent of global climate change. The year 2018 brought new and disturbing predictions regarding global warming. First, new analyses show that a 1.5oC warming is very likely to be as damaging as we thought a 2oC warming would have been only a few years ago. Second, refined models indicate that in order to limit warming to 1.5oC, we must cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 percent by 2030, despite the fact that forecasts are for an increase in emissions in 2019. Global warming has become a near-term crisis, not a far-future concern.
Martha’s Vineyard cannot solve this global problem by itself. However, we can and should contribute to achieving the climate goals of Massachusetts by serving as one of the host communities of the Vineyard Wind project and thereby impacting a much larger region.
As an engineer who has contributed to undersea cable projects, and as a university professor teaching energy systems courses, I have been impressed with both the technical approaches that Vineyard Wind has taken and the extensive efforts that the developers have taken to minimize the impacts of the project on our local environment and contribute to our Island community.
We cannot afford to wait. Offshore wind is a proven technology, and is a key element of the transformed energy ecosystem that we require.
Dr. Robert Hannemann