U.S. approves wind project south of Martha’s Vineyard

(WASHINGTON) — The Biden-Harris administration on Tuesday announced its approval of the New England Wind offshore wind project – the nation’s eighth approval of a commercial-scale, offshore wind energy project under President Biden’s leadership.

With the action, the Department of the Interior has approved more than 10 gigawatts of clean energy from offshore wind projects – enough to power nearly 4 million homes.

Since the start of the Biden-Harris administration, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has held four offshore wind lease auctions which have brought in almost $5.5 billion in high bids, including a record-breaking sale offshore New York and New Jersey, and the first-ever sales offshore the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico coasts.

BOEM has also advanced the process to explore additional opportunities for offshore wind energy development in the U.S., including in the Gulf of Maine and offshore Oregon and the U.S. Central Atlantic coast. The department has also taken steps to drive toward union-built projects and a domestic-based supply chain.

The New England Wind project is expected to generate up to 2,600 megawatts of electricity, enough to power more than 900,000 homes with clean renewable energy. The project is situated approximately 20 nautical miles (nm) south of Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., and about 24 nm southwest of Nantucket, Mass.

Park City Wind LLC proposed a two-phased project plan comprising up to 129 wind turbine generators, with up to five offshore export cables transmitting electricity to onshore transmission systems in the town of Barnstable and Bristol County, Mass.

On Feb. 26, BOEM announced the final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the proposed New England Wind project, which analyzes the potential environmental impacts of the activities outlined in the project’s construction and operations plan and considers reasonable alternatives.

During a 60-day public comment period, BOEM hosted three virtual public meetings to gather feedback on the draft EIS from tribal nations, members of the public, commercial fishing interests, and other ocean stakeholders.

The “Notice of Availability of a Joint Record of Decision for the New England Wind Project and the New England Wind Offshore Export Cable Project” will be published in the Federal Register in the coming days.

– Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

By Professional Mariner Staff