Edgartown, Vineyard Wind double-down

Edgartown appeals export cable approval; Vineyard Wind 2 announced.

Richard Andre, president of Vineyard Power, Vineyard Wind’s on-Island partner, at the pivotal Edgartown Conservation Commission hearing on July 10. — Rich Saltzberg

As Edgartown continues efforts to block approval of Vineyard Wind’s application for export cables off Chappaquiddick, Vineyard Wind announced it has taken major steps toward the creation of a second wind farm.

In a superseding order of conditions, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection overruled the Edgartown Conservation Commission’s 5-1 vote to deny the installation of export cables in the Muskeget Channel, and determined the cables can be installed. Edgartown has appealed that decision to the DEP’s Office of Appeals and Dispute Resolution. 

Edgartown conservation agent Jane Varkonda told The Times Edgartown didn’t receive the August 5 superseding order of conditions from the commonwealth in a timely manner. Varkonda said she learned by happenstance the decision had been made during a conversation with a state official. Upon learning Edgartown was without the decision, the official sent it.

“He sent it to me on Friday [August 16], and the last day to appeal was Monday the 19th,” she said. 

Varkonda said town counsel was able to pull together the appeal in time. “It was a scramble to say the least,” she said. 

Reynolds, Rappaport, Kaplan and Hackney director Michael Goldsmith, who drafted the appeal, declined to speculate on why the order didn’t initially get to Edgartown. 

Varkonda said it’s plausible it was lost in the mail. 

“MassDEP believes the Edgartown conservation commission was notified of the superseding order on the date of the decision (August 8, 2019), but can’t confirm that,” DEP spokesman Joe Ferson emailed. “The Edgartown conservation commission, however, was notified after a phone conversation on 8/16/19 .. .the appeal deadline was met on 8/19/19.”

Meanwhile, on August 23, Vineyard Wind announced it had submitted “a set of commercial large-scale offshore wind proposals to Massachusetts Electric Distribution Companies” per a second round of procurement in Massachusetts for clean energy generation and transmission. 

“The proposals include a required 400 megawatt (MW) option and two options for development of an 800 MW project,” a release states. 

“Vineyard Wind is very excited to submit these proposals, which offer significant job creation and port infrastructure investment opportunity for the region, while ensuring an attractive, fixed price for electric ratepayers,” Vineyard Wind CEO Lars Pedersen said via the release. “We look forward to announcing additional details on this exciting project in the weeks ahead.”

Vineyard Wind referred to the proposed project as Vineyard Wind 2, as opposed to the present wind farm, which it referred to as Vineyard Wind 1. 

Vineyard Wind 2 “would be built in Vineyard Wind’s lease area, and located south of the Vineyard Wind 1 project,” the release states. “The design for Vineyard Wind 2 features turbines in rows aligned in an east-west direction, with spacing of 1 nautical mile between turbine rows.” 

Vineyard Wind 1 remains mired in review after the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management decided it wished to take a deeper look into the environmental impacts of offshore wind turbines. Massachusetts lawmakers, including Governor Baker and State Rep. Dylan Fernandes, have steadfastly supported Vineyard Wind and Vineyard Wind 1, which would be America’s first large-scale offshore wind farm. Vineyard Wind is an amalgam of Avangrid Renewables of Portland, Ore., and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners of Denmark. 

In a recent Facebook post containing an image of himself aboard a vessel near offshore turbines, Fernandes wrote, “Offshore wind will propel our state to a 100 percent clean energy future, and our district will be leading the nation to make it happen. Touring a large-scale offshore wind farm in Denmark with Orsted U.S. to learn more about this innovative industry.”

Offshore wind developer Orsted owns the Block Island Wind Farm, and has partnered with Eversource to form Bay State Wind. Bay State Wind also recently sent proposals to distribution companies, according to State House News. Both Vineyard Wind and Bay State Wind submitted bids to the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources for the second round of procurement, State House News reported. 

25 COMMENTS

    • Just imagine if there was this thing called ” The Internet ” to double-check and verify your assertion on pricing. Did you consider that Mr Trump?

      • Tizberry’s statement regarding BW cost per kwh is correct. Per the contract (which includes a 3.5% annual escalator) the 2019 price is 30 cents per kwh.

          • Do not confuse ‘standard offer’ residential electricity pricing with the contract price paid a generator. It’s akin to confusing retail price and wholesale. In the case of BW, the contract price is as much as 10x New England’s wholesale electricity price.

    • tisberry — one of the reasons China can undercut our prices for making just about anything, is because they use child labor, prison labor, and have no regard for things like air or water quality.
      If only American manufacturers could just dump whatever waste they had into the rivers and air, we would be able to compete.
      I sarcastically propose that rather than deal with the silly “transfer stations” we have around here, we should all just dump our trash into the ocean. Why not ? the tide will eventually take it all “away” after all.
      Think of all the money individuals and the towns would save. What don’t you get ?

      • Thanks for posting! Thats over 10 times what i am paying now. my current rate is like 0.10 per kw for this 6 month rate. Forcing consumers and businesses in the USA to grossly overpay for this scheme is ridiculous. With grossly overpriced energy, businesses in the industrial nations cannot compete with the 3rd world ’emerging’ economies that rely on CHEAP energy to undercut the USA manufacturers (as well as cheap labor- they don’t have to pay union contracts and government mandated benefits). I’m all for clean energy, but don’t try to force it on consumers or businesses. Do it in an economically feasible manner, using the abundant clean cheap natural gas or hydroelectric. Last week i noticed some windmills turning quite well, on the LAND in CT. No need to destroy a marine paradise for some subsidized pipedream of a for-profit developer. Let them go lease some land in a valley at market rates.

        • Is only about 50 cents a KWH to run a honda generator. Or large scale one. No need for the lines, but heaven forbid they spend a few dollars on wire at the electric company! That is why most high rate areas raise their price to just under that amount.

  1. Yes well said, wildfires in the west of US, wildfires in south america, wildfires in europe, flooding in ahh around the world, migration caused by drought and starvation, yes indeed a big joke while your sitting here on the vineyard slurping your cumbies coffee and shoting down ideas for alternatives watch will cost more but it beats buying bottled air.

  2. Imagine the MV Times actually doing some writing and producing some studies showing how moronic (or possibly corrupt) these Edgartown officials are in trying to thwart these cable runs??

    There is absolutely NO EVIDENCE to support that these cable will be damaging to the environment. In fact there are numerous studies that demonstrate undersea high voltage lines are NOT dangerous. One study in California showed that sharks and rays don’t respond any differently to cables under the sea, whether they are carrying electrical current or not.

  3. MassDEP Lent 5 Million To Build Illegal Falmouth Wind Turbine II–MassDEP brokered a loan using ARRA funds to build the Falmouth wind turbines
    June 20, 2017, Mass Superior Court Shut Down Nuisance Falmouth Turbines Financed By Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection

    American Recovery Reinvestment Act of 2009 stimulus funds cannot be used if a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety-MassDEP did it despite health and safety warnings prior to construction !
    Letter To Town of Falmouth 5 Million ARRA MassDEP Loan
    FROM State To Town
    MASSACHUSETTS WATER POLLUTION ABATEMENT TRUST
    April 2, 2013
    Julian M. Suso, Town Manager
    Town Hall 59 Town Hall Square
    Falmouth, MA 02540
    Dear Mr. Suso,

    This letter follows up on the telephone call by Commissioner Kenneth Kimmell, of the Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP” , to Julian Suso, the Town Manager of Falmouth, Massachusetts (the “Town”) on Friday, March 29, 2013 concerning the Wind Turbine project at the Town’s wastewater treatment facility (“Wind II”) that was funded with money provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (“ARRA”).

    As the Commissioner indicated in that call, DEP and the Water Pollution Abatement Trust (the “T1ust”) cannot unconditionally approve the Project Completion Certificate submitted by the Town to DEP on March 14, 2013, for Wind 11 if it has reason to believe that Wind 11 may cease operations.

    Outside legal counsel has advised that Wind II is subject to specific provisions of ARRA and applicable federal regulations and guidelines (“Federal Law”) in addition to the terms and conditions of the Project Regulatory Agreement (“PRA”) and the Loan Agreement associated with the funding of Wind 11.

    Under Federal Law and the(Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection) PRA and Loan Agreement, the Town must maintain Wind II as an “energy efficiency” project, as described in EPA guidelines dated March 2, 2009, in order to benefit from the financial subsidy provided by the Trust under ARRA and the Trust’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund program.

  4. I imagine both of you 2 previous posters work for the Wind Farm Consortium- let’s see 26.1 cent Eversource price paid per the generosus rate increase of 3.1 % by the RIPSC- should be around the same increase at rate filing next year- why don’y you take a nice trip down to Plant City Florida and gaze on some thousand acres of solars panel that FPL uses to power most of Tampa- again big joke, The electric rates that FPL charge are less than 10 cents a kwh-TOTAL. Don’t need to check no stinking internet-been there done that !

    • Prior to the phrase “vineyard wind” ever being published, rates including delivery were about .08 a kwh. And even that is high compared to national average at the time. The elite dems want power and control of the people. They will destroy our republic to get and maintain power. Once they get you by the nads, they never let go. Freedom of movement, freedom of affordable power, freedom of dictionary words, freedom of thought. They will take it all if we let them. Resist the plantation people. No republican ever owned a slave. The houses on the underground railroad were mostly white owned. Slavery is alive and well today, and color doesn’t matter.

      • “no republican ever owned a slave” HA!! That’s a garbage talking point Trump loving Republicans turn to in order to absolve yourselves of the fact that fascist conservative now dominate the Republican party. Garbage!

  5. MYOB who is elite, every time the Democrats are in charge we get medicare, voting rights act, social security, disability rights act and all those other elitist programs that make life in this country better for the majority not for the few and chosen on Martha’s Vineyard like yourself.

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