State energy officials host public meeting on offshore wind


State officials from the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs will host a public information meeting on November 14 about an environmental assessment (EA) of a wind energy area (WEA) designated in federal waters offshore of Massachusetts. The meeting will be held from 5 to 7 pm, at the Katharine Cornell Memorial Theatre.

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) released the EA on October 31. BOEM officials will attend next week’s meeting to provide an overview of the assessment, solicit public comment, and discuss the next steps in the environmental and leasing processes.

The EA analyzes potential environmental effects associated with renewable energy leasing and data gathering in the wind energy area (WEA). The BOEM announced in June that the EA would consider, among other things, potential impacts on endangered North Atlantic right whales and effects on viewsheds. The EA also took into consideration mitigation measures that might reduce potential impacts on these and other resources in the WEA.

The 742,974-acre area is on the outer continental shelf off Massachusetts, about 12 nautical miles south of Martha’s Vineyard and 13 nautical miles southwest of Nantucket. Ten commercial wind energy development companies have expressed interest in the site.