Aquinnah supports next phase of Vineyard Wind

The Aquinnah select board is issuing a letter of support for the next phase of the Vineyard Wind offshore wind farm. — Lucas Thors

Updated Aug. 4

The Aquinnah select board is writing a letter of support for the next phase of the Vineyard Wind offshore wind farm.

Richard Andre, President of Vineyard Power (the community partner of Vineyard Wind) was before the board at their regular meeting Tuesday to request a letter of support for their response to the Massachusetts’ 83C-III offshore wind solicitation which calls for up to 1,600 MW of additional offshore wind procurement by the Commonwealth’s utilities.

According to Andre, Vineyard Wind recently submitted its construction and operation plan to the federal government, and following publication of a Notice of Intent, the government can now begin environmental reviews and look towards permitting for the next stage.

On Nov. 27, 2017, Aquinnah officials signed off on a similar letter of support for the Vineyard Wind 1 project — our nation’s first commercial-scale wind farm.

That project will be capable of producing 800 MW of power, enough to power 400,000 Massachusetts’ homes and is the equivalent of removing 325,000 vehicles from the road each year. 

Andre spoke on the massive benefit the Island community will receive over the next decade or so, as the totality of the project is developed.  A community benefit agreement seeks to bring local jobs and significant infrastructure improvements to the Island and the surrounding region as a result of the project.

Approximately $20 million will go toward improving the port facility at the Tisbury Marine Terminal located on the Tisbury’s Working Waterfront, as well as other major infrastructure improvements to accommodate their operations. 

The Island headquarters for Vineyard Wind, located on Beach Road will include a storage warehouse and a facility for up to 50 Island workers (also included in the benefit agreement).  At the airport, Vineyard Wind will construct a hangar to house a single helicopter to support their construction and maintenance operations.

“Vineyard Wind made a commitment so that 100 percent of the workers will be Island workers within five years,” Andre said.

Vineyard Wind has partnered with ACE MV and the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School and helped secure approximately $400,000 in grants for education and workforce training related to offshore wind.  Training includes college-level certifications taught at the high school through a partnership with Bristol Community College.

Updated to include additions and clarifications from Richard Andre — Ed.