US governors urge Trump to unlock Iberdrola’s offshore wind energy project

They defend the value of offshore wind power for the country’s economy, which has been able to attract some of the most sophisticated energy companies to invest in its coasts.

The governors of five of the main states of the Eastern United States have urged the Government of Donald Trump to urgently resolve the blocking situation in which Vineyard Wind is located, the mega wind project that Iberdrola will carry out in Massachusetts waters .

In a letter sent to the secretaries of the Department of Interior and Commerce of the United States, David Bernhardt and Wilbur Ross, respectively, to which Europa Press has had access, the governors, representatives of both the Democratic and Republican parties, rush the Government to “explore options” that ensure that the additional revision of the Environmental Statement of the project is resolved in March 2020.

“While we support the assessment and mitigation of the impacts of large-scale offshore wind development, we are disappointed that this review has negatively affected the Vineyard Wind project schedule,” they underline.

Specifically, the letter is signed by the governors of the states of Massachusetts (Charlie Baker), Connecticut (Ned Lamont), Maine (Janet Mills), New Hampshire (Chris Sununu) and Virginia (Ralph Northam), who show their support for the development of offshore wind power in the United States, as well as its “concern” about the blocking situation in which Vineyard Wind is located, “which will potentially undermine efforts to promote regulatory certainty for this industry.”

Thus, they defend the value of offshore wind for the country’s economy, which has been able to “attract some of the most sophisticated energy companies in the United States and the world to invest in our coasts.”

“This investment is a victory for our country, as it will not only increase our domestic energy production and increase the energy independence of the United States, but will also create thousands of jobs – including jobs in the manufacturing sector – in our states and other states far from the coast, “they stress.

In this way, they indicate the date of next March 20 as a limit to give a solution and warn that a greater delay by the Government of Donald Trump “would have negative impacts on this project, on the development of offshore wind energy along the East Coast and in further expansion of American jobs that support this industry. “

This new political movement in favor of Vineyard Wind joins that already last week led by several senators and congressmen from the United States, who also asked to unlock the situation in which the project is.
Additional environmental impact statement

This blockade occurred after the decision of a few weeks ago by the Department of Interior of the United States to submit the project to an additional environmental impact study, which will cause, as recognized by the promoter of the offshore wind farm – 50% owned by Iberdrola and the Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) fund – a delay in the estimated calendar, which provided for the installation to start up in early 2022.

However, Vineyard Wind has reaffirmed its commitment to the development of the offshore wind farm and stressed that it would use the delay “to further improve the project and its multiple benefits, as far as possible.”

With an installed capacity of 800 MW, Vineyard Wind, awarded last year, is the largest offshore wind farm in the United States and will involve an investment of about 2.8 billion dollars (about 2.5 billion euros).

In addition, the company has proposed the development of a new park in Massachusetts (United States) waters, in addition to Vineyard Wind, which includes a 400 megawatt (MW) option and two other options for an 800 MW project.
Possibility of extending tax credits

A delay in the beginning of the project would jeopardize the obtaining of investment tax credits (ITC) linked to the date of commissioning of Vineyard Wind.

However, Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker of the Republican party said his administration is in talks with federal regulators to extend federal tax credit, according to local press.