Vineyard Wind develops the utility-scale offshore wind project in the USA

Vineyard Wind and Nantucket announce community partnership

Vineyard Wind develops the utility-scale offshore wind project in the USA

Vineyard Wind, the Town of Nantucket, and leading Island nonprofits announced today plans to create The Nantucket Offshore Wind Community Fund, which will support local initiatives to combat the effects of global climate change, enhance coastal resiliency, and protect, restore, and preserve Nantucket’s cultural and historic resources.

Vineyard Wind has agreed to provide an initial $4 million when construction financing is obtained for its first project to seed the Fund, which will be administered by the Community Foundation for Nantucket. When its subsequent projects move forward, Vineyard Wind will provide additional funding to further support the Fund, which will also accept contributions from other wind developers and philanthropists.

The parties will work closely together to further engage the extensive Nantucket community of stakeholders to ensure that residents and other interested parties are informed of the Vineyard Wind projects and the associated community benefits. 

Vineyard Wind CEO Lars T. Pedersen said:

“We’re pleased to reach this agreement, and look forward to a long and collaborative relationship with the community of Nantucket in the years ahead. Our goal is to not only set the best industry standards, but to also be good neighbors as we work to launch an industry that will create thousands of jobs and take major steps forward in the fight against climate change.”

Vineyard Wind is developing the nation’s first utility-scale offshore wind project in the U.S., to be located approximately fifteen miles from from Madaket Beach, its closest point on Nantucket.

Nantucket Town Manager, C. Elizabeth Gibson, explained:

“When we first learned of the planned wind project, we were especially concerned about visual impacts because our entire Island is a National Historic Landmark. But Vineyard Wind’s top executives worked constructively with Nantucket leadership to resolve these concerns. They agreed to move the first row of turbines farther away from Nantucket, to install a lighting system that will be activated only when planes are nearby that reduces nighttime lighting to fewer than four hours per year, and to paint the turbines an off-white color to reduce their visibility.”

In addition to those design changes, Vineyard Wind worked with the Town, the Maria Mitchell Association (MMA), and the Nantucket Preservation Trust (NPT) to create a fund to support community-led projects. 

Dawn Hill Holdgate, Chair of the Town’s Select Board, explained:

“This creates a model for other offshore wind companies to follow when engaging with Nantucket.”

Mary Bergman, Executive Director of NPT, said:

“The Fund will further the important work happening across Nantucket to protect, promote, and preserve the island's unique architectural heritage and sense of place.”

Jason Bridges, interim Executive Director of MMA, added:

“Vineyard Wind’s investment in our community will help create more opportunities for all to develop a life-long passion for science through education, research, and first-hand exploration of the sky, land, and sea of Nantucket Island.”

The Town will announce more details about the Fund in the coming months, with plans for the Fund to issue its first grants in late 2021.