April Infrastructure: Vineyard Wind Connector 2

At the Infrastructure Committee’s April meeting Dana Rebeiro, Massachusetts Community Liaison for Vineyard Wind, requested a letter from the Tech Council in support of a Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) submitted to the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs. Vineyard Wind is in the final stages of their permitting for the Vineyard Wind Connector 2 project.

The DEIR addresses overall environmental impact offshore, on shore and at the connection to the electrical grid. It also looks at existing environmental conditions and measures taken to mitigate impact on residents or the ocean. The report is available on the Vineyard Wind website, as well as at several local libraries.

Rebeiro said Vineyard Wind has implemented time of year restrictions for both marine and land construction, scheduling around high traffic times. They have also coordinated with municipal infrastructure projects, coordinating their line work with the sewer project, minimizing disruption while saving taxpayer money.

According to Vineyard Wind the project will result in reduced carbon dioxide emissions of 1.68 million metric tons annually, a reduction equivalent to taking 325,000 cars off the road. The organization is working to develop a workforce for this new industry on the Cape and Islands and in Southern New England, collaborating with educational institutions, vocational programs, and unions including the International Longshoremen’s Association.

“This contract is twenty to thirty years and I’m sure it will be renewed,” Rebeiro said. “This is really for the future of young people in the area that aren’t seeing a growth in opportunity.”

According to their website, “The Vineyard Wind Project presents a historic opportunity to ignite the Massachusetts supply chain and workforce. Vineyard Wind is committing $15 million in three initiatives that will build a skilled offshore wind workforce centered in southeastern Massachusetts, attract additional investment in infrastructure and supply chain development, and advance technologies that will allow for greater expansion of offshore wind, while continuing to protect marine mammals.”

The infrastructure committee agreed to review the report and make a recommendation to the board, drafting a letter of support if approved.

If other organizations wish to submit letters of support, they may be sent to:

Alex Strysky, MEPA Analyst
Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
MEPA Office
100 Cambridge Street, Suite 900
Boston, Massachusetts 02114

Subcommittee Updates
The municipal broadband subcommittee is collecting links of good case studies of projects done in this area.

Open Cape won an RFP from Mass Broadband Institute for extending Wi-Fi to nine locations in Provincetown, Truro, Wellfleet, Eastham and Barnstable. Wi-Fi access at these locations will be open to the public 24/7.

If President Biden’s plan to include 100 billion dollars for broadband and infrastructure passes that could mean up to 2 billion dollars for the Commonwealth. This information can be added to the resources provided to municipalities as they consider how to fund Municipal broadband.

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