First major U.S. offshore wind farm

Published on February 4th, 2021

The gateway to Long Island Sound may get a bit busier with an offshore wind energy project planned for a 160,000 acre area south of Martha’s Vineyard. An array of wind turbines, spaced at least eight-tenths of a mile apart, will connect to cables buried for 35 miles below the sea floor and toward Cape Cod.

In an area of the ocean nearly the size of New York City, the new U.S. presidential administration will restart permitting for the project, called Vineyard Wind, reversing a decision by the previous administration that canceled the process late last year in part due to concerns its turbines would interfere with commercial fishing.

Deemed the first major U.S. offshore wind farm, the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management would commence an environmental review of Vineyard Wind as part of the administration’s broad plan to speed renewable energy development on federal lands and waters.

The Responsible Offshore Development Alliance, a fishing industry group, said it hoped the resumption of the permitting process would provide new opportunities for the public to weigh in on the project.

The project, located 15 miles from the nearest shore, claims it will generate cost-competitive electricity for more than 400,000 homes and businesses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Source: Reuters, Vineyard Wind

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