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Environment

Permitting for big U.S. offshore wind farm will resume 'very, very soon': Avangrid CEO

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(Reuters) - The developer of the first major U.S. offshore wind farm said on Wednesday it will soon apply for a federal permit from President Joe Biden’s administration, after former President Donald Trump’s government abruptly canceled its initial application last month.

Vineyard Wind will resubmit its construction plan to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management “very very soon,” Avangrid Inc CEO Dennis Arriola said in an interview, without specifying an exact date. “We believe that the pause button is going to come off and we’re going to continue right where we were,” he said.

Biden has pledged to boost development of renewable energy as part of a sweeping plan to fight climate change and create jobs, and offshore wind proponents expect the nascent U.S. industry to experience dramatic growth.

Vineyard Wind is a joint venture between power company Avangrid, a unit of Spain’s Iberdrola, and Denmark’s Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners. Once constructed, the project 15 miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard is expected to provide power to more than 400,000 Massachusetts homes.

Last month, BOEM said it was terminating the permitting process for Vineyard Wind, an apparent reaction to the company’s request for time to incorporate turbines from a new supplier, General Electric Co, into its design.

Vineyard Wind’s dust-up with Trump’s BOEM was just the latest in a string of obstacles it has faced while seeking a federal permit. It had already suffered delays over concerns that its turbines will interfere with commercial fishing.

The company has maintained talks with BOEM officials, who were “looking forward” to receiving the new information, Arriola said.

Reporting by Nichola Groom; editing by Richard Valdmanis and David Gregorio

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