“Expanding the offshore wind in a wildlife-friendly manner is essential to addressing the climate crisis,” said Collin O`Mara, President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “By ensuring responsible construction and exploitation of offshore wind energy, this model agreement is a win-win situation for the maintenance of wildlife and the creation of well-paying jobs. We are proud to work with Vineyard Wind and our conservation partners to protect vulnerable people in the North Atlantic, as this much-needed new clean energy industry begins in the United States. “Throughout the development of the project, Vineyard Wind has worked with all stakeholders to proactively resolve potential issues and design the best project possible. It was particularly exciting to work with these key environmental groups to develop better whale protection at all stages of the first supply-scale offshore wind project,” said Erich Stephens, Chief Development Officer of Vineyard Wind. In a press release issued on October 5, WSP said it would provide, with its subcontracting partners, Wood Thilsted, a consulting firm specializing in structuring and geotechnical engineering, and C2Wind, an offshore wind energy design consulting firm, a cost-effective design solution for the project. Following the release of SEIS, the industry opposed the new layout options and stated that the 1×1 NM layout, agreed by all New England offshore wind producers, offers generous and consistent shipping lanes and is a greater distance than any other wind turbine currently operating in the world. The 1×1 NM layout was also determined by the U.S. Coast Guard to “maximize safe navigation,” as the industry has pointed out. Turbine construction will be limited in winter and spring, when Cetaceans in the North Atlantic are in the area, and there will be comprehensive monitoring to ensure that construction will not take place if the whales are near the site. Vineyard Wind will reduce construction noise that disrupts the whales` ability to communicate, find food and stay on their hiking trail. The agreement also provides for strict speed limits for ships.
Vineyard Wind, the company behind an 84-turbine project off the coast of Massachusetts, today signed an unprecedented conservation agreement that helps protect the endangered North Atlantic whale while promoting clean energy. BOSTON, MA – Vineyard Wind and the Natural Resources Defense Council, the National Wildlife Federation and the Conservation Law Foundation today reached an unprecedented agreement to protect endangered North Atlantic whales.