Vineyard Wind plans to appeal the Edgartown conservation commission’s decision to deny a permit that would allow two underground cables to run through the Muskeget Channel.
Vineyard Wind proposed to bury two 400-megawatt export cables one mile off Chappaquiddick from its proposed wind farm 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard to a site in Barnstable.
The cables had been approved by the Martha’s Vineyard Commission, but at the conservation commission hearings, fishermen pushed back strongly against them, saying that the cables might have detrimental marine effects.
Richard Andre, the president of Vineyard Power, informed selectmen of a vulnerability workshop over the winter that addressed impacts from climate change like flood surges, rising sea levels, and more intense storms. He said two members of the conservation commission attended that meeting.
“In light of that as a priority for the town as a real threat, for them to vote against the project that’s actually going to be the first project to reverse climate change in the U.S. just seems there’s a disconnect between the select board appointees to the conservation commission and the conservation commission’s vote,” Andre said.
Edgartown residents Sandy Pimentel and Daryl King both expressed their support for Vineyard Wind after Andre spoke.
Vineyard Wind will now appeal the conservation commission decision to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Office of Appeals and Dispute Resolution in Boston. The conservation commission is no longer allowed to put its own conditions on the project because it denied the permit.
“Our town of Edgartown loses the rights to put its own orders of condition on to the approval,” Andre said. “There was a real chance for Edgartown to step up and say, Well if there’s a concern about the cable or the fishermen … we stand out as somebody who’s not standing up to climate change.”