Articles filed under Offshore Wind from Massachusetts
A plan by offshore power company Vineyard Wind to bring a high-wattage cable through Lewis Bay and onshore in West Yarmouth is energizing residents, who say that no amount of compensation is worth the damage the project could potentially inflict. “This is not about money,” West Yarmouth resident David Bernstein said at Tuesday’s Board of Selectmen meeting, which was devoted primarily to public comment on the project. “I don’t care if Vineyard Wind gives $10 million a year to the town of Yarmouth. If the bay is killed, it is killed.”
Given that everyone from Republican Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker to Democratic Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo to Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke have all been vocal in their support for offshore wind power, the question is not if more wind farms will be built, it is if they will be built in a way that works for fishermen — commercial and recreational alike.
Massachusetts and Rhode Island have announced offshore wind projects aimed at delivering a combined 1,200 megawatts of energy, enough to power 400,000 homes.
A health care provider with hospitals in Fall River, New Bedford and Wareham intends to buy offshore wind energy from one of three companies bidding for long-term contracts with the state’s three electricity distributors.
Many fisherpeople see a future where segments of their industry will ultimately disappear unless the federal government ensures their concerns are taken into account in the construction and development of wind farms. Fisherpeople’s fears include the incompatibility of certain types of fishing gear with the clustered placement of wind turbines and a lack of site-specific research regarding economic and ecological impacts of the turbines.
In a letter to the Department of Public Utilities on Monday, the team evaluating the bids for a long-term offshore wind energy generation contract said it needs the extra 30 days but still expects to submit a negotiated contract for state approval by July 31. The companies said meeting the April 23 deadline "has proven impossible as a result of factors outside the Distribution Companies' control."
Looking to create a sea change in energy production in Massachusetts, Governor Charlie Baker signed “An Act to Promote Energy Diversity” with overwhelming bipartisan support in 2016. A key provision of the legislation mandated that utilities solicit long-term contracts with offshore wind farm developers, with the goal of adding 1,600 megawatts of offshore wind power by 2027.
“It’s true that the area where the turbines are have created habitat that attracts fish, which is good; but in the area where the cable lines extend to the mainland, it’s completely devoid of fish,” said Michael Pierdinock, chairman of the Massachusetts Recreational Alliance, which represents about 50,000 recreational fishermen. “These used to be fruitful fishing grounds.”
There’s a lot of buzz in New Bedford these days about the offshore wind industry — and for good reason.
“I’m appalled that the state (and the town of Yarmouth) would consider a project that would damage this fragile watershed,” said Andrea Gottfried, a taxpayer in West Yarmouth. “Lewis Bay is historically, ecologically and economically important to Cape Cod residents and visitors from around the world.”
Toxic transformer fluids could pollute drinking water if leaks occur at a substation where an offshore wind energy developer plans to connect to the region’s electric grid, according to an attorney for the town of Barnstable. “We haven’t seen the plans,” Charles McLaughlin said of Vineyard Wind’s plan to connect an underground transmission cable to an Eversource substation in Independence Park.
The three firms vying to build the first major offshore wind farm in the United States filed their proposals on Wednesday with Massachusetts officials. Each of the firms kept their pricing a secret, so they publicly tried to differentiate their projects based on size, transmission approaches, construction timetables, and partnerships.
Three offshore wind energy developers bid Wednesday on contracts to sell electricity to Massachusetts power companies, taking the next big step in a process that could set turbines spinning south of Martha’s Vineyard within the next five years.
One of its biggest problems was its location. Critics insisted that Mr. Gordon was putting his $2.6 billion project in the wrong spot. He wanted to plant 130 turbines in the shallow waters of Nantucket Sound, where they would have been protected by Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.
Cape Wind suffered a slow death. Efforts to develop the 468-megawatt offshore farm began in 2001 but came up against relentless opposition ...While Energy Management won several court battles, the project couldn’t survive the 2015 cancellation of contracts to sell its power to local utilities.
“Cape Wind has confirmed to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management that it has ceased development of its proposed offshore wind farm project in Nantucket Sound and has filed to terminate its offshore wind development lease that was issued in 2010,” according to a statement emailed to the Times by Cape Wind vice president Dennis Duffy.
The area along the coast of New England is considered the Saudi Arabia of offshore wind. However, the federal tax subsidy designed to jump-start production of ocean wind energy will soon be drying up.
NEW BEDFORD — Amid all of the challenges that could face offshore wind power along the East Coast — legal disputes from commercial fishing advocates, construction plans altered by whale migrations, President Donald Trump’s emphasis on revitalizing fossil fuels and more — some promising news for renewable industry supporters arrived in mid-March.
Big disagreement on whether bigger is better