Iberdrola Reinforces its Commitment to Marine Biodiversity a
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This news is classified in: Sustainable Energy Wind

Feb 5, 2024

Iberdrola Reinforces its Commitment to Marine Biodiversity and Responsible Offshore Wind Energy Development

  • The initiative is part of the Regional Wildlife Science Collaboration (RWSC).
  • RWSC releases plan to identify and mitigate potential impacts of offshore wind development on wildlife.
  • Vineyard Wind One construction work halted until spring due to whale migration.

Iberdrola has reinforced its environmental commitment to offshore wind energy. As part of the Regional Offshore Wind Energy Wildlife Science Collaborative (RWSC), the company has released the Integrated Science Plan for Offshore Wind, Wildlife and Habitat in Atlantic Waters in the United States.

"This landmark plan, will lead to further regional data collection and scientific studies on the interaction between offshore wind energy development and the diverse ecosystems along the East Coast," said Pedro Azagra, CEO of Avangrid. "We look forward to continuing the leadership of U.S. offshore wind through the development and implementation of best practices that will help guide the future of this entire industry," Azagra said.  

Through its subsidiary Avangrid the company is a founding member of the RWSC, a collaboration formed in 2021 between U.S. federal agencies, Atlantic coast states, offshore wind companies and environmental nonprofits with the goal of coordinating offshore wind and wildlife research, data collection and data management with the broader research community.

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The Science Plan will support the study of science that can help protect wildlife and inform management and conservation decisions. A major goal of the Science Plan is to encourage the use of consistent methods and data standards in the many planned and ongoing research projects on marine mammals, birds, bats, sea turtles, protected fishes, oceanography, seafloor habitats, and new technologies.

The Science Plan is the result of more than two years of work between scientists and representatives of government, industry and environmental groups that make up the unique regional collaboration. It will also result in independent, peer-reviewed science that can help protect wildlife and conserve ocean habitats, while enabling states and the federal government to work toward their offshore wind expansion goals.

Emily Shumchenia, director of the RWSC, said, "This Science Plan is the region's future roadmap. It is also a call to action to collaborate in advancing our understanding of offshore wind energy and marine ecosystems."

Avangrid is building the nation's first large-scale offshore wind project, 806-megawatt Vineyard Wind 1, located 15 miles off the coast of Martha's Vineyard. Vineyard Wind 1 will generate electricity for more than 400,000 homes and businesses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, create 3,600 full-time equivalent jobs for years, save customers $1.4 billion over the first 20 years of operation, and is expected to reduce carbon emissions by more than 1.6 million metric tons per year, the equivalent of taking 325,000 cars off the road annually.

Work conditioned until spring by whales
In accordance with federal and state regulations, Vineyard Wind One has ceased pile driving activities due to migration patterns and the possible presence of whales in the area. Activities will resume beginning in the spring.

All of this is part of the company's protection and sensitivity to sustainability and biodiversity.

The structures, which leave from the Asturian port of Avilés, are being left on land until work resumes. They are for the second phase of construction of the Vineyard Wind One wind farm, which is already partially operational.

 


Iberdrola S.A