The Martha’s Vineyard Commission voted unanimously Thursday night to approve the Tisbury marine terminal project. The project would make improvements to Tisbury Towing and Transportation’s port infrastructure and create a new O&M facility for offshore wind farms.
The operation and maintenance facility will have three ramps for special vessels designed to service wind farms. An 800 square foot public gazebo is also part of the project. This will include a 10 foot wide walk along Beach Road.
Vineyard Wind would be the first offshore wind developer to use the facility. Vineyard Wind’s partner on the vineyard, Vineyard Power helped promote the project.
Before the vote, Commissioner Kathy Newman (Aquinnah) said that regardless of the local environmental impacts of the project, it was important to consider the “great environment” and the role of the facility in it. Commission member Josh Goldstein (Tisbury) said the project had the backing of Tisbury’s board of directors. Goldstein also said the board recommended that the project not be subject to strings attached.
The commission did, however, set conditions. One of these was the requirement that the dredged material from the project be used for feeding the island’s beaches or for climate resilience. Another requirement was that from May to September, the O&M equipment entering and leaving the terminal be as limited as possible from morning to early evening, except in emergencies.
Although he ultimately voted for, commissioner Ted Rosebeck (Edgartown) asked why the operation and maintenance facilities should be located on the vineyard.
“If it was somewhere else, all the other benefits we’re talking about are still there. We always have wind power … “
Newman noted that the economic benefits would be lost if the facility was elsewhere. Rosebeck admitted it was true.
Among the expected economic benefits are jobs. ACEMV, in collaboration with Bristol Community College, offers a offshore wind technician certificate program. Graduates of this program are expected to work in operations and maintenance facilities.