Vineyard Wind has received bipartisan support from the Massachusetts Legislature to authorize Barnstable to grant the wind energy company an easement at Covell’s Beach. The easement will facilitate landfall of the export cables stretching from the wind farm lease zone roughly 15 miles south of the Vineyard, past Chappaquiddick, and through Nantucket Sound to the Cape.
“The landing of the Vineyard Wind underwater transmission cable in Centerville will bring clean renewable electricity for thousands of local homes and businesses, and further establish our region on the leading edge of a clean energy future,” state Sen. Julian Cyr (D-Truro) said in a statement. “Swift action on this legislation has been a priority for the entire Cape and Islands legislative delegation. With our vote, the town of Barnstable will receive significant financial benefits and electric infrastructure improvements as a result of the project’s landing site.”
One section of the proposed cable route passes through the Muskeget Channel about a mile from Chappaquiddick, and therefore falls under the auspices of the Edgartown conservation commission. In a 5-1 vote, the commission denied Vineyard Wind a permit to lay cable in the channel. Vineyard Wind has since appealed to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.
Gov. Charlie Baker has made it clear he wants the wind farm to move forward. State House News Service reported on Tuesday that “the Baker administration, which is openly pushing the offshore wind farm, plans to swiftly decide on the developers’ appeal of an important permit denial by the Edgartown conservation commission.”
The news service further reported that Baker met with Interior Secretary David Bernhardt in Washington, D.C., Monday. Baker said afterward “he was hoping to come up with a ‘cure plan’ to address separate federal obstacles standing in the way of the project, because ‘we really want this project to happen.’
Vineyard Wind has issued statements indicating if it can’t receive final approval from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management before the start of September, the entire project could be imperiled.