Solar sues federal government for approval of Vineyard offshore wind farm

  • Approval of Allco Renewable Energy claims ignores risks to marine life and fisheries
  • Company makes claims under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act

(Reuters) – A solar energy company sued the Home Office for its approval of the country’s first large offshore wind farm, alleging that the project off the coast of Massachusetts threatens the region’s fishing industry and puts marine life at risk.

In one complaint Filed in federal court in Boston on Sunday, Allco Renewable Energy Ltd accuses the DOI of neglecting the risks of the Vineyard Wind project polluting nearby waters and endangering endangered species if the turbines do not withstand strong hurricanes.

Allco develops and invests in solar projects, making it a competitor of the planned wind farm in the renewable electricity market.

DOI spokesperson Giovanni Rocco declined to comment.

Vineyard Wind LLC, based in New Bedford, Mass., The company behind the 800-megawatt wind farm slated for development 15 miles off Martha’s Vineyard, also declined to comment.

Allco, based in New Haven, Connecticut, accuses the DOI of violating the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), arguing that the Vineyard wind farm will unreasonably interfere with certain uses of the coastal waters that make up the outer continental shelf of the country.

Specifically, Allco says that the Biden administration’s approval in May of the project, which will generate electricity to power 400,000 New England homes, ignores in its environmental review that “no offshore wind turbines exist today.” hui cannot survive a Category 3 or higher hurricane. ”Wind farm operators often use specialized lubricants to maintain turbines, which the complaint claims could leak if damaged.

Such a “catastrophic release of oil and contaminants into the marine environment” could endanger already endangered marine turtle species and the right whale, in violation of OCSLA requirements to strike a reasonable balance between different uses. of the waters, Allco said.

Allco, who is represented by its Senior General Counsel Thomas Melone, further claims that the DOI failed the OCSLA balance test because commercial fishing vessels will effectively have to abandon the wind farm area due to difficulties in there. navigate. The current plan is for 62 wind turbines.

Vineyard Wind’s approval was quickly condemned by the fishing industry, which raised concerns about the impact of the project on fish stocks and shipping traffic.

The Biden administration has touted the Vineyard Wind project as a new source of household energy that will help eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector.

Vineyard Wind is a joint venture of Avangrid Inc and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners.

The case is Allco Renewable Energy Ltd v. Haaland, United States District Court District of Massachusetts, No.1: 21-cv-11171.

For Allco Renewable Energy et al: Thomas Melone d’Allco

Read more:

US approves major offshore wind farm, kicks off industry to fight climate change

Vineyard Wind signs union pact for US offshore wind farm

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