Published: 24 January 2019 24 January 2019
Vineyard Wind and the Natural Resources Defense Council, the National Wildlife Federation, and Conservation Law Foundation have entered into an unprecedented agreement to protect critically endangered North Atlantic right whales. Under the agreement, Vineyard Wind will institute a variety of protective measures to keep right whales safe while installing and operating turbines at its proposed 84-turbine 800MW offshore wind energy project off the coast of Massachusetts, USA.
Turbine construction will be curtailed in the winter and early spring when the North Atlantic right whales may be in the area, and there will be comprehensive monitoring to ensure that construction doesn’t take place when the whales are near the site. Vineyard Wind will dampen construction noise that disturbs the whales’ ability to communicate, find food and stay on their migratory path. The agreement also includes strict vessel speed limits.
Vineyard Wind will further invest US$ 3 million to develop and deploy innovative technologies and undertake scientific research to further safeguard the marine mammals. Barely 400 right whales remain on the planet. For decades, the North Atlantic right whale has been harmed by many existing marine uses, including entanglement with fishing gear and vessel collisions. The right whale protections announced today provide an important template other offshore wind projects should consider.