Vineyard Wind is well underway in developing the nation's first utility-scale offshore wind energy project over 14 miles off the coast of Massachusetts. The project will generate clean, renewable, cost-competitive energy for over 400,000 homes and businesses across the Commonwealth, while reducing carbon emissions by over 1.6 million tons per year.
New England is shifting to clean, competitively-priced energy, and Massachusetts state law seeks to have 3,200 MW of offshore wind providing electricity to the Commonwealth by 2035, which could represent over 20% of electricity consumed in the state. Vineyard Wind is an important part of that goal, and will make a significant contribution to the Commonwealth’s aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, while growing our economy and enhancing energy security and reliability.
Vineyard Wind has leased a 160,000 acre area south of Martha's Vineyard, and 14 miles from the nearest shore. The location was determined through a multi-year, inter-governmental task force process, which carefully considered scientific data and public input. The offshore wind project will consist of an array of wind turbines, spaced at least eight-tenths of a mile apart, that are each capable of generating 9.5MW of power. Power from the turbines is collected by an offshore substation.
Submarine cables will be installed along a carefully designed route from the project site to a landing point on shore, buried up to six feet below the sea floor. The route has been designed after an extensive geological survey of the area to avoid as many sensitive areas as possible. The upland cables will be buried along proposed routes in Barnstable.
connection to the New England grid
From the onshore cable landing site, the route will extend to the grid connection point inland. The route will run underground primarily along public roads, but also includes segments within other previously disturbed corridors such as an existing utility right-of-way. After the initial installation, all maintenance work will be accessed via installed manholes.
Site selected through an intergovernmental stakeholder process
Located over 14 miles from the nearest shore in an area that allows for minimal environmental and human impact
Scientific studies of the nearby ocean and seafloor were conducted over several years, ensuring that the best information was used in making project siting decisions
Powerful and reliable wind speeds and ideal site conditions to support wind turbine foundations
Offshore studies and technical design underway since 2011
STRONG GRID CONNECTION
Proposed connection to onshore locations reduces seafloor disruption and ensures that environmental impacts are minimal and temporary
Location offers a reliable grid connection without the need for changes to the existing grid system
on track to start ONSHORE construction in 2019
Vineyard Wind is the first of several competing projects to have already initiated the full permitting review process, putting the project on track to start in-state construction in 2019.
The project requires over 25 federal, state, and local permits and authorizations: the lead federal agency is the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the main state agency is the Energy Facilities Siting Board. Applications were made to both in December 2017.