Fishermen and their supporters gather for a rally April 28 in the lower parking lot of the Augusta Civic Center to protest offshore wind development. PHOTO COURTESY OF JOE PHELAN/KENNEBEC JOURNAL

Administration approves offshore wind project

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Biden administration announced last week that it approved the construction and operation of the first large-scale offshore wind project in the United States.  

Vineyard Wind, an 84-turbine, 800-megawatt project, will be 12 nautical miles offshore from Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts and will create 3,600 jobs and provide enough power for 400,000 homes and businesses, according to the administration.  

“A clean energy future is within our grasp in the United States,” said Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland in a statement. “The approval of this project is an important step toward advancing the Administration’s goals to create good-paying union jobs while combating climate change and powering our nation. Today is one of many actions we are determined to take to open the doors of economic opportunity to more Americans.” 

The Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA), a coalition of fishing industry associations and fishing companies, has condemned the decision, saying it includes “no mitigation measures to offset impacts to critical ocean ecosystems and commercial fisheries.” 

Fishermen in Maine have been wary about potential offshore wind development, holding a rally against it recently in Augusta. Gov. Janet Mills has proposed a 10-year moratorium on wind development in state waters as she and her administration work on plans for a first-of-its-kind wind turbine research array in federal waters.  

Ethan Genter

Ethan Genter

Former reporter for the Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander, Ethan covered maritime news and the town of Bar Harbor.

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