MARTHA'S VINEYARD, Mass. (State House News Service) — Citing an "incredible milestone" for Vineyard Wind, the first commercial-scale offshore wind project in the country, U.S. Commerce Secretary Raimondo on Tuesday also signaled a favorable view of similar projects that she said will enable President Joe Biden to reach his ambitious climate goals.
"It's really exciting that it's a reality," Raimondo said on a late-morning press call to announce approval of Vineyard Wind's construction and operations plan.
Federal officials said they had given final federal approval for the project to be located far off the coasts of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.
During the call, Cabinet officials stressed that they believe the policy goals of addressing climate change and transitioning to clean energy are compatible with the creation of good, high-paying jobs. In particular, they emphasized union jobs and said Vineyard Wind would be built under a project labor agreement.
Officials estimated Vineyard Wind would create 3,600 jobs, and a favorable posture toward the sector means more projects are likely to advance. While wind projects idled under the former Trump administration, Biden has set a target of 30 gigawatts of installed offshore wind energy by 2030, and reaching that goal will create nearly 80,000 jobs, officials said.
Sen. Marc Pacheco, posting on Twitter, called the announcement "phenomenal news" for the future of offshore wind in Massachusetts and the country. "It's fitting that construction will begin after Labor Day - this announcement means thousands of good-paying jobs!" he wrote.
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