BOEM initiates wind project review near Nantucket

The proposed project could provide power to Massachusetts and Connecticut communities. (Courtesy: BOEM)

In support of the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will initiate an environmental review of Vineyard Northeast’s proposed offshore wind energy project, located 29 miles offshore Nantucket, Massachusetts at its closest point.

BOEM estimates the proposed project would generate up to 2,600 megawatts (MW) of electricity, enough to power more than 900,000 homes with clean renewable energy.

BOEM published a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Construction and Operations Plan (COP) submitted by Vineyard Northeast, LLC. This is the 13th COP review initiated under the Biden-Harris administration.

“The Biden-Harris administration is steadfast in our dedication to collaborating with Tribal nations, government agencies, environmental groups, local communities, and ocean stakeholders,” said BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein. “Through collective effort, we can establish a robust, sustainable offshore wind sector that guarantees communities nationwide reap the rewards of domestically sourced clean, reliable renewable energy.”

The Lease Area, consisting of about 132,370 acres, is located some 29 miles from Nantucket and approximately 39 miles offshore Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.

Highlights from Vineyard Northeast’s proposal include the following:

  • Installation of up to 160 wind turbine generators, up to 3 electrical service platforms (ESPs), and one booster station in an adjacent lease area.
  • Two offshore export cable corridors, one to Connecticut and one to Massachusetts, and associated onshore transmission systems.

Since the start of the Biden-Harris administration, the Department of the Interior has approved the nation’s first six commercial scale offshore wind projects, held four offshore wind lease auctions – including a record-breaking sale offshore New York and the first-ever sale offshore the Pacific and Gulf Coasts, initiated environmental review of 13 offshore wind projects, and advanced the process to explore additional Wind Energy Areas in Oregon, Gulf of Maine and Central Atlantic. The Department has also taken steps to evolve its approach to offshore wind to drive towards union-built projects and a domestic based supply chain.