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03/04/2024

Enrollment Opens for Vineyard Wind 1 Fisheries Compensation Program

Enrollment Opens for Vineyard Wind 1 Fisheries Compensation Program

Impacted fishermen can apply for eligibility at www.vw1fisheriescomp.com until June 3, 2024

BOSTON, MA – Avangrid, Inc. (NYSE: AGR), a leading sustainable energy company and member of the Iberdrola Group, and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), a global leader in green energy investment and in offshore wind development through its affiliate Vineyard Offshore, today announced that the Vineyard Wind 1 project has launched its Fisheries Compensatory Mitigation Program. The third party administered program seeks to provide fair, equitable compensation to commercial fishermen for economic impacts attributable to the project’s construction, operations, and decommissioning activities. The launch of the program opens a 90-day window for fishermen to qualify for compensation at www.vw1fisheriescomp.com. 

“Throughout the development of Vineyard Wind 1, we have focused on building relationships with local fishing communities while ensuring that each of these vital industries can co-exist to the benefit of the entire Northeast region,” said Avangrid CEO Pedro Azagra. “By launching this program we are making good on our promise to work with the fishing industry to address financial impacts related to the development of this project, and we encourage any commercial fishermen affected to apply for eligibility.”

"As Massachusetts leads the nation in offshore wind development, sustaining our nation-leading seafood industry is an equally important priority," said Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Rebecca Tepper. "For centuries, commercial fisheries have played an essential role in our state's history, culture, and economy. The Vineyard Wind Fisheries Compensation Fund will bolster our commercial fisheries during this time of transition to clean energy—we hope this fund can be a model for ensuring offshore wind and commercial fisheries thrive together."

To support the program, Vineyard Wind 1 has established three escrow funds to compensate affected fishermen in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York. Compensation may also be available to shoreside businesses in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
The launch of the program opens a 90-day window, until June 3, 2024, for commercial fishermen to apply for eligibility and qualify for compensation payments based on defined eligibility criteria. Critically, this 90-day timeframe is the only opportunity that fishermen will have to qualify for compensation over the life of the program. Fishermen will not need to demonstrate economic impacts from Vineyard Wind 1 to qualify for the program or receive compensation payments.
 
The program is open to commercial fishing vessel owners/lessees in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island who can demonstrate historical fishing activities in the lease area, OCS-A 0501; and shoreside businesses in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Information about the shoreside business portion of the program will be available at a later date. 
 
“CZM was pleased to work with the Division of Marine Fisheries to secure these mitigation funds from Vineyard Wind for the commercial fishing industry,” said Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management Acting Director Tyler Soleau. “These funds were actively negotiated with stakeholders through the Fisheries Working Group and will help ensure that Massachusetts’ historic fisheries remain safe and profitable as the important offshore wind industry emerges and grows.”
 
"Division of Marine Fisheries is glad to see Vineyard Wind Fisheries Compensation Fund, negotiated alongside our commercial fishing partners and the Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM), provide real benefits for our impacted fishermen and local businesses," said Division of Marine Fisheries Director Dan McKiernan. "DMF is committed to working closely with impacted individuals to connect them with this critical support."
 
Vineyard Wind is hosting open house and tabling events in the month of March to assist fishermen with their applications and answer any questions they may have.  Information about these events is available at www.vw1fisheriescomp.com.
 
To qualify for the program, fishermen must be able to demonstrate that they: 

  • are a commercial fishing vessel owner/operator homeported in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, or Rhode Island.
  • have a 2023 commercial fishing permit from NOAA Fisheries.
  • have a valid government-issued vessel registration that shows vessel ownership, or a vessel lease agreement.
  • fished in the Vineyard Wind 1 lease area, OCS-A 0501, for at least three years between 2016 and 2022. 
  • have annual revenue from fishing activities for at least the corresponding three years between 2016 and 2022 (e.g., IRS Form 1099 and/or other tax documents, sales receipts, dealer slips, and/or dealer compilation reports).

Fishermen must include evidence of fishing activities in the lease area, OCS-A 0501, in their application. This evidence may include, but is not limited to the following:

  • Vessel Trip Reports
  • Vessel Monitoring System information 
  • Automatic identification system information
  • Fishery Observer or At-Sea Monitoring Information
  • NOAA Cooperative Research Study Fleet information
  • Chart plotter data/images time-stamped
  • Logbooks (supported by additional data)
  • Other trip-level reporting information that establishes fishing activity in the lease area

 
After qualifying, eligible commercial fishing vessel owners/operators will receive annual compensation payments for the first five years of the program.  Every five years, participants will need to submit evidence of ongoing and active fishing activities to continue receiving payments. Notably, fishermen do not have to demonstrate an impact to qualify for the program or receive payments.
 
The program is administered by de maximis, inc., an independent third-party administrator, with support from local fixed gear and mobile gear fisheries advisors. The third-party administrator’s point of contact is Major Sharpe, who can be contacted at vineyardwind@demaximis.com.
 
Vineyard Wind is not involved in the administration of the program, application review process, payment determinations, dispute resolution, or other program functions. The program will continue until Vineyard Wind 1 is decommissioned.
 
An 806-megawatt project located 15 miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, Vineyard Wind will generate electricity for more than 400,000 homes and businesses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, create 3,600 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) job 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.
 
 

About Avangrid

About Avangrid: Avangrid, Inc. (NYSE: AGR) aspires to be the leading sustainable energy company in the United States. Headquartered in Orange, CT with approximately $44 billion in assets and operations in 24 U.S. states, Avangrid has two primary lines of business: networks and renewables. Through its networks business, Avangrid owns and operates eight electric and natural gas utilities, serving more than 3.3 million customers in New York and New England. Through its renewables business, Avangrid owns and operates a portfolio of renewable energy generation facilities across the United States. Avangrid employs approximately 8,000 people and has been recognized by JUST Capital in 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024 as one of the JUST 100 companies – a ranking of America’s best corporate citizens. In 2024, Avangrid ranked first among utilities and 12 overall. The company supports the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals and was named among the World’s Most Ethical Companies in 2024 for the sixth consecutive year by the Ethisphere Institute. Avangrid is a member of the group of companies controlled by Iberdrola, S.A. For more information, visit www.avangrid.com.

 

About Iberdrola: Iberdrola is one of the world's biggest energy companies and a leader in renewables, spearheading the energy transition to a low carbon economy. The group supplies energy to almost 100 million people in dozens of countries. With a focus on renewable energy, smart networks and smart solutions for customers, Iberdrola’s main markets include Europe (Spain, the United Kingdom, Portugal, France, Germany, Italy and Greece), the United States, Brazil, Mexico and Australia. The company is also present in growth markets such as Japan, Taiwan, Ireland, Sweden and Poland, among others.

With a workforce of nearly 40,000 and assets in excess of €141.7 billion, across the world, Iberdrola helps to support 400,000 jobs across its supply chain, with annual procurement of €12.2 billion. A benchmark in the fight against climate change, Iberdrola has invested more than €130 billion over the past two decades to help build a sustainable energy model, based on sound environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles.

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