June 27, 2023
Peckar Will Lead Outreach and Engagement for Development of Floating Offshore Wind Projects
(EUREKA, CA) – Vineyard Offshore today announced that Erik Peckar has joined the company as West Coast Director of External Affairs. In that position, Erik will be responsible for all aspects of local government and stakeholder engagement associated with Vineyard Offshore’s floating projects off the West Coast, principally the development of lease area OCS-P 0562, west of Humboldt Bay in Northern California.
“We are excited to have Erik join the Vineyard Offshore team to take on a critical role for our West Coast projects,” said Christian Scorzoni, VP and Head of External Affairs at Vineyard Offshore. “Erik was a leader in the development and implementation of the nation’s first Community Benefit Agreement for an offshore wind project with Vineyard Wind. His ability to work with local officials, fishermen, tribal members, and others toward mutually beneficial results makes him the perfect person to engage with communities that have stakes in offshore wind development in Northern California. We are thrilled to have Erik heading to the West Coast for Vineyard Offshore.”
“I couldn’t be more excited to take on this incredible opportunity,” stated Peckar. “In Massachusetts, we showed that offshore wind could reap dividends far and wide, in particular for our local communities, thanks to deep engagement by all constituencies. I look forward to working with another incredible community in and around Humboldt County to ensure that Vineyard Offshore’s projects are beneficial to the people of Northern California.”
For the past 13 years, Erik has been general manager of Vineyard Power Cooperative, on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. Vineyard Power is a member-owned nonprofit organization dedicated to producing electricity from local, renewable resources while advocating for and keeping the benefits within the island community.
"Erik has been a well-respected member of the Island Community for more than 15 years,” said Sandra Pimentel, Martha’s Vineyard Diversity Coalition Board Trustee. “The work he has done with Vineyard Power, on behalf of the island with Vineyard Wind, has been invaluable, delivering local jobs to year-round residents, resiliency benefits to our local municipalities and tribal government, as well as income eligible ratepayer relief to those who need it most."
On behalf of Vineyard Power, Erik led the process of community-wide engagement that resulted in support for the nation’s first federally recognized offshore wind Community Benefit Agreement (CBA), signed with Vineyard Wind in January 2015. The CBA brings specific value from offshore wind farm development to the islands and the region, including local job creation and the construction of an operations and maintenance facility on Martha’s Vineyard. Under the CBA, Vineyard Wind is also providing funds for energy efficiency improvements, on-bill credits for income-eligible residents, and distributed energy and battery storage to protect critical infrastructure on Martha’s Vineyard.
In implementing the CBA, Erik engaged in all aspects of the development and permitting process for Vineyard Wind, ensuring that community feedback was incorporated into the project and that the community received timely updates as the project advanced. During his tenure, he engaged frequently with tribes, fishermen, educational institutions, NGOs, other community members, and countless other stakeholders in and around the project area.
Erik was critical in establishing a successful offshore workforce development program, including wind turbine technician certificate training for residents on Martha’s Vineyard, in preparation for the Vineyard Wind Operations and Maintenance facility to be based on the island. Erik also led a successful legislative effort in Massachusetts to enable municipalities to purchase electricity directly from offshore wind projects to reach their renewable energy targets and stabilize electricity costs. He also helped to lay the groundwork for Martha’s Vineyard’s target to be fossil fuel-free by 2040.
Erik received a Bachelor of Science degree from Pennsylvania State University. He also studied at the University of New South Wales in Australia.