Geotechnical drilling vessel at work for Vineyard Wind

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The geotechnical drilling vessel Dina Polaris, which is taking core samples for Vineyard Wind.--Courtesy Robbie Courcier

Vineyard Wind, the company with Island roots that beat out two competitors for permission to build an 800-megawatt wind farm off the southern shore of Martha’s Vineyard, has started preliminary work. A large vessel mistakenly thought by some Islanders to be engaged in oil and gas exploration between between Aquinnah and Cuttyhunk is actually in local waters to take core samples of the seafloor in preparation for Vineyard Wind wind turbines.

The 99-meter drilling vessel Dina Polaris is taking the samples to evaluate the strength of the seabed at various spots within the wind farm lease area. At times the Dina Polaris has sought shelter close to the Elizabeth Islands, but it is not taking core samples near there, Stefan Feil, tender manager for Geoquip Marine Operations AG, the vessel’s owner, told The Times in a telephone call from Switzerland.

“It is anticipated that she will be returning … to her project location — the Martha’s Vineyard offshore wind farm site — today or tomorrow to recommence the geotechnical site investigation, which she is currently planned to complete by mid-July,” Feil wrote in an email Tuesday.