Library from Massachusetts

Federal regulators take the wind out of offshore turbine project

Boem_application_terminated_vineyard_wind_thumb After Massachusetts-based Vineyard Wind asked the Interior Department for a temporary pause in the federal permitting process, which can take years to complete, the department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management terminated the project. Now that the 800-megawatt wind farm is no longer under review, the developer will have to submit a new application. That will kick-start an environmental review that could take up to 18 months, according to various reports.
1 Jan 2021

Vineyard wind project officially taken off the table for now

“Since the COP has been withdrawn from review and decision-making, there is no longer a proposal for a major federal action awaiting technical and environmental review, nor is there a decision pending before BOEM,” the agency wrote in the register posting. “Thus, in light of Vineyard Wind’s letter dated December 1, 2020, this notice advises the public that the preparation and completion of an [environmental impact statement] is no longer necessary, and the process is hereby terminated.”
17 Dec 2020

Pandemic delays resolution to B. Bay wind turbine dispute

The judge based his ruling on the Bourne health board’s own wind energy conversion system regulations that state that no one can build such a system in Bourne unless it is in compliance with the regulations. Judge Nickerson ruled, though, that the regulations do not authorize the board of health to regulate the construction of wind turbines in Plymouth. In his ruling, however, Judge Nickerson said the Bourne health board has “broad powers to regulate and prevent nuisances that affect public health.” His ruling ended with the proviso that the board of health might have future legal recourse to combat a nuisance to the town and its residents.
11 Dec 2020

Falmouth might need special legislation to move wind turbines

“I remain extremely frustrated with the state, on the one hand, saying we’re going to have to pay back the $3.5 million dollars, but on the other hand saying we’re not going to help you,” board member Douglas H. Jones said. “The state agencies are not communicating with each other or are speaking from two sides of their face at the same time. I understand that they are different state organizations, but the fact that the DoER [Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources] isn’t willing to allow us to use the 25A procurement law is just unbelievable.” Mr. Jones said the decision has tied the town’s hands, leaving it with no viable way to move forward with disposal of the turbines.
30 Oct 2020

Vineyard Wind Secures Transmission Agreement With ISO-NE

Vineyard Wind has announced a transmission agreement with ISO New England (ISO-NE) to deliver power to the system operator’s grid when the Vineyard Wind 1 project comes online. The 800-MW offshore wind farm, located about 15 miles off the cost of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, is expected to be the first commercial-scale offshore wind farm in the U.S.
28 Oct 2020

Falmouth no closer to dismantling wind turbines; Town officials frustrated by state actions

After a decade of issues regarding the two wind turbines that stand at the wastewater treatment plant, the town is no closer to seeing them dismantled. The town has been working to find ways to either move the turbines for use elsewhere or dismantling and disposing of them completely. The state recently rejected the town’s request under a specific law that would have made it easier to dismantle the turbines without costing millions of more dollars.
28 Oct 2020

Wind energy project up for discussion in Falmouth

Mayflower Wind recently got approval from the Falmouth Conservation Commission to conduct geotechnical boring investigations at two beach parking lots to eventually install underground cables. The company will appear before the Select Board on Monday to get permission to conduct the tests on town property.
2 Oct 2020

UMass Dartmouth wind turbine comes down after stormy history

Jacquart explained that when the university acquired the turbine in 2012, hopes were high for an inexpensive service contract while its power output would equate to roughly one percent of the campus energy usage. He said the turbine would frequently break down and generate less and less electricity every time it broke, eventually costing the school more money to maintain it than it was generating.
22 Sep 2020

State lawmakers call for action on wind farm

The offshore wind industry, the growth of which has been stunted by a longer-than-anticipated federal permitting process, is critical if Massachusetts and other Northeast states are to meet their carbon reduction goals, a bipartisan group of 40 state lawmakers wrote in a letter supporting the Vineyard Wind I project planned for waters 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard.
20 Jul 2020

BOEM issues new draft environmental statement on Vineyard Wind

The agency “recognizes that fishing is an important use of federal waters that will be considered in its decision-making,” according to the statement. “BOEM will engage with commercial and recreational fishermen to ensure a full understanding of potential impacts. BOEM will solicit input from the fishing community for project siting, best management practices, research, and monitoring.” Specific to the Vineyard Wind project, the environmental statement considers six alternative scenarios for laying out the array – including a dedicated vessel transit lane, as wide as four nautical miles, that was proposed by the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance, a coalition of fishing groups.
12 Jun 2020

Feds release Vineyard Wind environmental assessment

The analysis found none of the alternative layouts provided any significant advantage for the fishing industry. “The overall cumulative impacts of any alternative when combined with past, present, and reasonably foreseeable activities on commercial fisheries and for-hire recreational fishing would be major,” the report said. “This impact rating is driven mostly by changes to fish distribution/availability due to climate change, reduced stock levels due to fishing mortality, and permanent impacts due to the presence of structures (cable protection measures and foundations).” The assessment also found that the configuration with a navigation lane reduced the amount of power produced by the wind farm areas in Rhode Island and Massachusetts by about 3,300 megawatts.
9 Jun 2020

https://www.windaction.org/posts?location=Massachusetts&p=3
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