Providence Journal: “Vineyard Wind, R.I. fishermen still at odds over turbines”
By Alex Kuffner, July 30, 2018 –
NARRAGANSETT — Nearly four months into a review of its proposal by Rhode Island coastal regulators, Vineyard Wind has been unable to allay fears that its proposed offshore wind farm of up to 100 turbines would harm the state’s fishing industry.
With a key approval from the Coastal Resources Management Council at stake, the New Bedford-based company has agreed to a two-month extension in an attempt to bridge the divide with agency staff and Rhode Island fishermen over the $2-billion project that would be built in 250 square miles of ocean south of Martha’s Vineyard.
At a recent meeting with the company and fishermen, Coastal Resources Management Council executive director Grover Fugate announced the stay, which pushes back a decision by the agency until Dec. 6.
The delay comes after Fugate sent a letter to Vineyard Wind signaling that the agency is unlikely to award a “consistency certification” to the 800-megawatt wind farm as it’s currently configured. Fugate recommended an alternate layout of the turbines to minimize impacts to fishing grounds for squid, lobster and other species that are critical to Rhode Island fishermen.
During the meeting last Thursday of the Fishermen’s Advisory Board, which advises the council on fishing issues related to offshore wind, Rhode Island fishermen complained that Vineyard Wind never took their needs into account when designing the wind farm. Over three hours of back and forth that at points grew heated, they repeatedly said that the orientation of the wind farm and the spacing of the turbines would make it nearly impossible for them to fish within its boundaries.
Reprinted via Providence Journal, which is not affiliated with the Alliance.