CRMC approves Vineyard Wind project

Updated at 12:46 p.m.

THE R.I. COASTAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT COUNCIL voted to approve Vineyard Wind's Consistency Certification Application and proceed with the process for building its 800-megawatt project in water south of Martha's Vineyard.
THE R.I. COASTAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT COUNCIL voted to approve Vineyard Wind's Consistency Certification Application and proceed with the process for building its 800-megawatt project in water south of Martha's Vineyard.

PROVIDENCE – The R.I. Coastal Resources Management Council voted unanimously to approve Vineyard Wind’s Consistency Certification Application at a meeting Tuesday evening, deciding that the project is consistent with Rhode Island state law regarding the state’s coastal program’s enforceable policies, Vineyard Wind announced.

“We thank the members of the CRMC, the Fisheries Advisory Board, and other fishermen for working with us to develop a package that will allow the offshore wind and fisheries industries to share the ocean resources and grow together,” stated Vineyard Wind CEO Lars Pedersen. “Today’s vote is the culmination of a lot of time and effort by a wide range of stakeholders, for which we are very appreciative.”

“We are confident that today’s vote, combined with the $16.7 million comprehensive funding package developed in consultation with Rhode Island fishermen and CRMC staff, will allow the Ocean State’s fishing industry to safely operate and grow side-by-side with our project and future offshore wind developments,” added Pederson.

The agreement between Vineyard Wind and the Rhode Island Fisheries Advisory Board calls for Vineyard Wind to provide $4.2 million to be held in escrow as a “direct compensation fund” for claims of direct impacts to Rhode Island vessels and Rhode Island fisheries in the project area.

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It calls for Vineyard Wind to make an initial $1 million payment, followed by annual payments over 29 years totaling $3.2 million, starting with $76,000 and escalating 2.5 percent a year, according to a copy of the agreement obtained Monday by the Providence Business News.

It calls for the escrow to be administered by a third party selected by Vineyard Wind in consultation with the CRMC and the Fisheries Advisory Board.

In addition, the agreement calls for the creation of a nonprofit Rhode Island Fishermen’s Future Viability Trust, and for Vineyard Wind to pay $12.5 million into the trust, spread out over five annual payments of $2.5 million. It also calls for Vineyard Wind to pay for legal costs up to $50,000 to set up the trust.

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