Marking a second about face in a month, Vineyard Wind announced Monday it was requesting that the incoming Biden administration jump start a federal review of the plan to build the nation’s first industrial-scale wind farm 15 miles south of the Vineyard.

Five days after the inauguration of President Joe Biden, who has highlighted renewable energy development as a hallmark of his agenda, Vineyard Wind said it would rescind its earlier withdrawal from the federal review process.

“The company is rescinding its December 2020 request to withdraw the construction and operations plan (COP) for Vineyard Wind 1, allowing the federal permitting process to resume,” a press release that went out early Monday morning said. “Since there are no changes required to the COP, we expect that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management can finalize their review based on the extensive analysis and studies of the project over the last three years.”

A spokesman for BOEM told the Gazette in an email Monday that the agency had no comment. The Department of Interior is still in transition, with President Biden’s pick to head the department, U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland of New Mexico, not yet confirmed by the Senate.

The $2.2 billion Vineyard Wind project is a joint venture between the Danish company Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Avangrid Renewables. Until last month the proposed 800-megawatt wind farm had led the high-stakes race to build offshore wind farms off the U.S. coast. But the project had languished in federal permitting red tape for three years under former President Trump, and the costly delays culminated in a request from Vineyard Wind late last year to entirely halt the mandatory environmental review.

A decision was published by BOEM in the federal register on Dec. 11 that the federal review process had been terminated. It was left unclear whether the review process would have to start all over again, if and when it resumed.

In a press conference Monday, Vineyard Wind CEO Lars Pedersen said the company believes review of the project should begin immediately from where it left off. He also suggested that the federal register decision did not carry legal weight in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review process, although Mr. Pedersen said the company had not heard from BOEM regarding the request.

“It was a decision we didn’t make lightly when we decided to temporarily withdraw,” Mr. Pedersen said. “But we do feel pretty confident that NEPA is about assessing the impact of a project, not following a particular process. And since there are no changes, we’re essentially back to Dec. 1 [when the application was withdrawn]. And we feel that a review can be resumed from where it was left off.” He added:

“All the data is there for BOEM to make a decision.”

The project was nearly derailed in 2019 when the federal government delayed the environmental review to conduct a cumulative study of all future offshore wind projects up and down the East Coast, eliminating hefty tax incentives and blowing up logistical timelines for materials and construction.

Mr. Pedersen reflected on that delay on Monday, saying that new legislation passed in December put those tax incentives back in play for offshore wind projects.

“The delay that we had in 2019 had a huge impact on this particular project. We had everything lined up. We had vessels. We had ordered factory slots. We had ordered raw materials. And we had to basically abandon that when the decision was made to delay the the project,” he said. “The new tax credit legislation, it basically puts the project more or less back where we were before the delay. So in that sense, it has been a positive impact on the project.”

Responding to questions about the role the change of administration played in Vineyard Wind’s decision, Mr. Pedersen said the company had been in close contact with both the Trump and Biden campaigns in the runup to the election. He said one appeared more favorable than the other.

“I think all else being equal, we have heard the [Biden] administration being more favorable towards renewable energy and addressing climate change,” Mr. Pedersen said. “And we think that, particularly for the East Coast, and the Northeast, offshore wind needs to be a significant part of the very ambitious goals that the individual states are having.”

But he said the company was not currently in contact with officials from either the former or current administration.

Developers hope to reach a financial close by 2021 and have energy on the grid by 2023, Mr. Pedersen said, marking a brighter, and breezier future for the offshore wind industry.

That timeline remains in the hands of BOEM.