Associated Press

NEW BEDFORD (AP) — The first commercial-scale offshore wind power development in U.S. history is edging closer to approval, federal officials said Monday.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management made the announcement about Vineyard Wind, a much anticipated and debated project off Massachusetts that would include dozens of turbines and produce enough power for more than 400,000 homes. The bureau said it is publishing a notice of the availability of the final environmental impact statement for the project on Friday.

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That’s significant because it means the government could approve or disapprove the project soon. BOEM officials said whether the project is approved can happen 30 days later. That’s the major approval needed to begin construction.

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Offshore wind development is still in its infancy in the U.S., which is home to two small projects off Rhode Island and Virginia. President Joe Biden’s administration has pledged to pursue renewable energy development such as wind power.

Vineyard Wind Chief Executive Officer Lars Pedersen said the company looks “forward to reaching the final step in the federal permitting process and being able to launch an industry that has such tremendous potential for economic development in communities up and down the Eastern Seaboard.”

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