To meet Massachusetts’ long term energy goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing energy security and reliability, the Commonwealth is seeking bids to procure 1,600 MW of clean, affordable offshore wind energy. Vineyard Wind's proposal to develop wind energy off the coast of Massachusetts is designed to meet and exceed the Commonwealth's clean energy goals.
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 over 8 MW 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 either Yarmouth or 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.
Two route options are under consideration: one in Yarmouth and one in Barnstable. Both route options have variants that offer additional benefits or can help further reduce costs.
• Site selected through a joint federal-state stakeholder process.
• Located over 14 miles from the nearest shore in an area that allows for the minimization of environmental impacts.
• Powerful wind speeds and ideal site conditions to support wind turbine foundations.
STRONG GRID CONNECTION
• The proposed connection locations reduce the total cable in the sea floor and helps to minimize environmental impacts.
• The nearby substations are connected to a robust transmission system, with no anticipated upgrades required.
on track to start in-state 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 will require 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.