Mayflower Wind airs offshore plans

Undersea cables to run east of Chappaquiddick.

Mayflower Wind/s lease area. Vineyard Wind's lease area is OCS-A 0501. Both companies will use a terminal in New Bedford for assembling their projects.

Mayflower Wind President John Hartnett presented selectmen with an overview of the company’s plans to construct a 1,200 megawatt wind farm approximately 25 miles off the southern coast of Martha’s Vineyard.

In August, Cambridge-based Mayflower Wind was awarded Massachuestts’ second offshore energy contract, following Vineyard Wind. The company plans to connect its turbines to a facility near Falmouth and onto Bourne via a 70-mile undersea cable that would run east of Chappaquiddick, according to Hartnett. Mayflower Wind’s lease area sits southeast of the Vineyard Wind site.

Mayflower Wind is hoping to submit federal permitting plans by the start of 2021, with a hope of approval in 2023. Much like Vineyard Wind, Mayflower Wind would need approval from the Martha’s Vineyard Commission, the Edgartown conservation commission, and several other local, state, and federal agencies.

No community benefit agreements have been made with individual towns. Vineyard Wind plans to have 40 employees on Island and other community benefits. In February, Vineyard Wind was dealt a setback after the U.S. Department of the Interior delayed publication of a document key to the wind energy company’s first offshore project, Vineyard Wind 1.

Last year, Vineyard Wind dealt with significant permitting setbacks to install cables in Edgartown waters. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection overruled the Edgartown Conservation Commission’s 5-1 vote to deny the installation of export cables in the Muskeget Channel, and determined the cables can be installed. Edgartown has appealed that decision to the DEP’s Office of Appeals and Dispute Resolution. 

In his presentation, Hartnett listed some of the Mayflower Wind’s benefits as a total of $2.5 billion in total economic benefit, 75 percent of operation and management jobs to be Massachusetts based, the lowest prices for offshore wind energy in the United States, and the elimination of 2 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually or the equivalent of removing 5 million cars from the road.

“I wanted to get through this presentation and lay out what our project looks like and we look forward to working with the town as we move forward in our development,” Hartnett said.