A ‘momentous day’ for Vineyard Wind 

Offshore wind project breaks ground in Barnstable.


Against the backdrop of Nantucket Sound and a steady wind that would surely keep a field of turbines spinning, political leaders and representatives of Vineyard Wind gathered at Covell’s Beach in Centerville to celebrate the nation’s first commercial-scale offshore wind project.

Federal and state leaders broke ground at the site in Barnstable, which is where Vineyard 1’s export cables will make landfall. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland was joined inside a large tent by Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, House Speaker Ron Mariano, state Sen. Julian Cyr, D-Truro, and state Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. They were joined by Vineyard Wind CEO Lars Pedersen, CIP senior partner and co-founder Christian Skakkebaek, and Avangrid CEO Dennis Arriola, as well as dozens of state legislators and representatives of the state’s congressional delegation.

“If you had asked me three years ago what I’d be doing on Cape Cod in November 2021, I probably would have said I am down here to celebrate the inauguration of Vineyard Wind 1 after we would have commissioned and installed the last three offshore [wind farms],” Pedersen said. “It didn’t exactly play out the way I thought it would in 2018, when we were trying to put the pieces together.”

He mentioned a message he received from Baker after Vineyard Wind 1 was awarded the contract in 2018. “It said, ‘Don’t screw it up,” he recalled as Baker, seated nearby, laughed. “Those weren’t the exact words.”

Pedersen praised the Vineyard Wind employees. “There will be only one team that builds the first commercial-scale offshore wind farm, and that’s this team,” he said to a loud ovation.

Baker said he didn’t think it would take this long to get the project approved. “Vineyard Wind, I just have to say to you folks, how much we appreciate your perseverance, your creativity, and your appreciation of what it meant to be first,” he said. “I don’t think it should have taken this long. I really don’t … If we truly want to get where we want to go as fast as we need to go on this stuff, we have go to figure out a way to move a long faster.”

Baker added he’s “super-psyched” about Massachusetts leading the way, but pointed out there are other projects in the wings. “There is a lot to be done here, this a great day, and I’m super-psyched that we’re first, but I want us to be first, fifth, 25th, 42nd, and 50th over the course of the next 10 years.”

In her remarks, Theoharides mentioned the state’s goal of being net-zero by 2050, and the need for more wind energy to get there. “It’s absolutely a momentous day, but we need a lot more of these to get our net zero goal,” she said.

Haaland praised Vineyard Wind and Massachusetts for their efforts. “It’s thrilling to think that right here where we are standing is where the very first cable will connect the nation’s first commercial-scale offshore wind facility to the mainland and eventually the U.S. power grid,” she said.

She mentioned the administration’s goal of 30 gigawatts by 2030. “We know they’re ambitious, but they’re needed,” Haaland said.

In one of President Joe Biden’s first acts as president, his administration revived the permitting process for Vineyard Wind 1. The offshore wind farm, located 15 miles south of the Island, will feature 62 GE Haliade-X turbines, and is anticipated to have an overall cost of just over $2 billion. The 62 turbines are meant to generate 800 megawatts of electricity that will be sent through two export cables buried under the Atlantic seabed. The cables will pass through the Muskeget Channel, off Chappaquiddick.

The project has enjoyed tremendous support, with the exception of the fishing industry, which has expressed concerns about navigating the turbines. In October, the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance filed an intent to sue over the federal approvals.

Ironically, Thursday’s press event was in a location where Cape Wind would have been visible. That 130-turbine wind farm project failed, in part, because of political pressure from the likes of U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy, whose family still owns valuable waterside property in Hyannisport.

Though it carries the Vineyard name, the project’s biggest benefits to the Island won’t be in the electricity it generates, but the jobs it creates. An operations and maintenance facility was recently approved for Vineyard Haven by the Martha’s Vineyard Commission, and the Martha’s Vineyard Airport will serve as a hub for the project’s helicopters.


  1. There is a non-polluting and dependable source that if widely used could greatly reduce production of greenhouse gases. Not wind turbines, solar panels or bio-mass power generation, let alone electric vehicles ultimately fueled by natural gas or coal-fired plants. As France knows and the International Atomic Energy Agency confirms. Its Nuclear Power.

    • Andy, please tell us how dependable and safe the folks around Chernobyl and Fukushima think Nuclear power is?
      What are the fully burdened costs of the nuclear power produced at Chernobyl and Fukushima?
      Plymouth, MA?
      Electric vehicles will ultimately be fueled by wind turbines, solar panels and bio-mass.
      Not just someday.
      My nephew has a Tesla 3 and a Tesla Solar Roof on his house, and a 120 mile round trip commute.
      On a monthly basis his roof produces more than his car consumes.
      I remember when America was great, Conservatives laughed at electric cars.
      Now they buy Tesla cars, Tesla solar and Tesla stock.

      • Mr Hess, the 58 reactors in France would cost 96 billion euros today. Chernobyl happpened due to bureaucratic incompetence and Fukushima due to a tsunami. One killed 31 the other killed perhaps 1 and yes people suffered from radiation. In the overall order or things Nucleaur is safe. Today there are about 440 nuclear power reactors operating in 32 countries plus Taiwan. About 50 power reactors are currently being constructed in 16 countries notably China, India, Russia and the United Arab Emirates. The tyranny of tiny risks should not apply.

        • Mr. Engelman, what will be the cost of decommissioning the 58 reactors in France?
          The average age of a French reactor
          What is the fully burdened cost of decommissioning Pilgrim Nuclear.
          It now costs 8 million per megawatt to build nuclear.
          One million a megawatt for wind.
          Wind has no fuel costs.
          Wind has no spent fuel storage costs.

          We should use China, Russia and the United Arab Emirates as beacons of good energy policy?
          How much funding did Trump provide for new nuclear power plants?
          More than he provided for his Big Beautiful Wall?
          Follow the money.
          Is tyranny the buzz word of the month selection for for the supporters of Trump’s baseless stolen election claims

          • Someone invented lugubrious rhetorical exuberance of verbosity while posing irrelevant questions and hypothetical non sequitors.

          • As soon as someone defaults to Trump-erie I kind of zone out. Stick to the subject!

            Regarding the EV “free current” dream, check out the reality as expressed by a gas infrastructure company:
            “”Note the areas that [the company] EPD is increasing investment in: Petrochemicals, NG, and NGLs – segments with very strong fundamentals and **will directly benefit from the push for “green” energy.*** . . . ***When you plug your car in, where is that electricity coming from? A natural gas powerplant is increasingly becoming the answer.”***

            Renewables (wind, solar) will never pay for themselves when all the costs, the mining, the decommissioning, the maintenance, the disposal challenges, and more are factored in. Wind and solar will never provide the level of power we currently use, not to mention predicted future needs. “The cloud” alone (that is, huge banks of servers) needed to maintain our connectivity and digitized society require enormous **reliable** current.

            And how about that, leasing huge swaths of the oceans off the Eastern Seaboard to foreign corporations, who will control these projects and take the available profits—that is, subsidies—while taxpayers foot the bills for higher rates and probably the dismantling of the towers and turbines when they reach the end of their (continental) shelf life in about 20 years.

            That is all before you get to the environmental issues and the rights of other species such as the endangered right whales to use the habitat undisturbed to recover from the previous round of extermination— caused by hunting whales to light lamps and manufacture corsets.

            These offshore wind “farms” are a huge, very expensive, experiment. The installation off Block Island so far seems to be a disaster. Do a quick online search for “block island wind farm problems.”

        • Problem with that Chernobyl argument is there will always be humans, and Fukushima always acts of nature. When nuclear fuel is no longer considered usable, it still is radioactive, how waste is stored does not change that. When a nuclear facility is decommissioned, it is still radioactive; that’s what the French have been doing, using retired facilities … that’s the closest thing to a recycle bin for them.

    • Nuclear power produces waste. Not simply waste but toxic waste. Regarding France reusing spent fuel, there’s still leftovers after and those are still toxic.

  2. Andy– you and I agree on something.
    But we likely have different views on how to implement it.
    I would focus on safety.
    you would focus on cost.
    And, we know that safely boiling water with a nuclear reactor is expensive.
    If as you said, Vineyard Wind will never happen because of financing and cost that you know all about, how do you think a company building nukes would get funding ?
    But this story is about Vineyard Wind– Would you like to take this opportunity to again assure the opponents of this project that “it will never happen” because of economic realities ? I for one am happy to see it moving along. It is safe—We know that we will never have to abandon the vineyard because of anything that happens at a wind farm. I know that you will tell us all that nuclear power is safe and that we will never have another reactor meltdown. I for won’t believe you.. Perhaps you don’t believe that there ever was one.
    Vineyard Wind will generate an “incredible” amount of safe electricity.
    And then people can waste it.

    • In the US, used fuel rods are stored at 76 reactor or storage sites in 34 states. The fuel is either enclosed in steel-lined concrete pools of water or in steel and concrete containers, known as dry storage casks. “For the foreseeable future,” the fuel can safely stay at these facilities until a permanent disposal solution is determined by the federal government. France uses facilities at the Hague.

      The stuff doesn’t disappear

  3. The survey boats for this have already created more pollution (carbon footprint) then this massive experimental project will save. The largest and tallest in the world. Enjoy the view now folks. Imagine the electrical current surrounding these massive wires all over the bottom. And— 4 of the 5 turbines off block island have been shut down since spring. ( cracked blades and leaking oil). Also the cable needs to be re-buried at a cost of 30 million. Why do so many think this is a good project ?

    • You have sung your narrative.
      Now show us your numbers.
      Show us the numbers for wind farms that have been in existence for five years.
      Show us the numbers in Texas where gas and oil went down due to freezing while wind stayed up.
      The failures at Block are on the investors, not the tax payers or rate payers.
      Orsted A S went public four years ago at $20, it is now at $44.
      People with money think there is profit to made in wind.
      Siemens Gamesa just announced a 14 megawatt, 680 foot diameter blade wind turbine.
      GE knows a thing or two about generating electricity.

      The Vineyard, Nantucket and Block Island are powered by massive wires, just imagine the massive electrical current on a hot August day.

  4. I could imagine a nuclear submarine or nuclear aircraft carrier could do double duty by providing energy and security while in port. While also employing more people then wind power.
    And hasn’t Bill Gates has been working on small nuclear power plants? Or is this fiction?

    • I could imagine a nuclear submarine or nuclear aircraft carrier could do double duty by providing energy and security while in port to be grossly inefficient use of resources.
      The first problem is that a nuclear submarine or nuclear aircraft carrier can provide no security while in port.
      Things that float are so expensive.
      And then there are nuclear waste costs.
      Bill Gates has had a couple set backs.
      He still has no nuclear waste solutions.

      • Albert. What amazes me about the waste issue is that there seems to be little interest in doing something with the low level heat that is generated at the spent fuel storage pools.
        They have a constant flow of water going through them, and that warm water has to be cooled somehow before it is released into the ocean or whatever body of water is near them.
        This will go on long enough that it has to be cost effective to heat nearby homes with it.

        • Some people might be skeptical about heating their homes with waste heat from nuclear waste material.

          There are essentially no homes near nuclear waste storage sites.
          It is a real estate marketing nightmare.

  5. This is a sad day for Cape Cod, the impacts to our ocean marine ecosystem are unknown, birds and all things that migrate above and below our ocean are so vulnerable, why are we not talking about that? We have one of the World’s top marine ecosystems, a global scale wind farm is a bad idea, Every country needs to lower there carbon emissions and methane, we all need to care about our ocean and our planet, solar is a better idea, we are a very smart country and alot of better options exist, then windfarms in our ocean

    • Susan, the impacts are very well known and accounted for. This isn’t the first offshore wind farm being built, there’s one as close as Block Island and many many more along the coastlines of Europe. Building this wind farm is crucial for our community in the coming years as climate change begins to show more of its impact.

      People have been talking about the potential impacts of this wind farm since its first stages of production, they’ve been working with local fishermen and environmental organizations such as Mass Audubon to minimize the effects as much as possible.

      In a letter to the US Department of the Interior Bureau of Ocean Energy, the Mass Audubon stated that “no project pose an ecologically-significant threat to the birds and associated marine habitat of the area under development.” (https://web.massaudubon.org/site/DocServer/Mass_Audubon_Vineyard_Wind_BOEM_comments_April_2018.pdf;jsessionid=00000000.app20021b?docID=9225&autologin=true&NONCE_TOKEN=072322839D1EAB6F588D04B4CC1F10DC)

      It is sad that you and many others in this comment section are contributing to spreading misinformation about a project that will be incredibly important for the future of Massachusetts in its fight against mankind’s biggest challenge yet.

    • Windfarms are bird killers getting subsidies from US taxpayers. Who knows what they’ll do to the fishing industry. And it’s pretty funny to think of all the fossil fuel energy that will be expended to build, deliver, install, connect, service and maintain the 62 turbines 15 miles offshore. All of that energy to build an expensive and unreliable power source. Government subsidies never make sense.

      • Apparently you are unaware that the issues of bird mortality and ocean habitat impact have been thoughly studied and adressed for decades. Rather than spend some time reading up on the studies published online there exists a contingent of folks who continue to lambast wind power with debunked concerns.
        You also point to all the energy required to build, erect and service wind turbines. Did you think that nuke plants and petroleum or coal-fired powerplants simply fall from the sky?

    • This is a sad day for Cape Cod, the impacts to our ocean marine ecosystem from burning hydrocarbons are well known, birds and all things that migrate above and below our ocean are so vulnerable, why are we not talking about that?

      Solar is a better solution.
      How many acres of solar would it take to match this projects output?
      How many acres of the Island would it take to make the Island 100% solar?

    • What percentage of hydrocarbon went down in Texas?
      The oil is not to thick in the Norwegian wind turbines.
      It appears that the Texans are to thick to use use the correct oils.
      Multi viscosity are more expensive.
      They won’t be going down this winter.
      The Norwegians are providing aid.

  6. I understand that “home base” for the project and for maintenance is going to be on the island. Is there any provision for housing for these people. Unless the pay scale is super, they will not be able to afford to live there.

  7. Unless electricity prices increase by another 40%, I don’t see how this operation makes financial sense. I guess it will take 20 years to break even, and by then you will need to replace all the wind turbines, setting you back another 15 years. Then if there is a major hurricane, all bets are off, not to mention an oil spill. A land base system makes a lot more sense.

    • This operation makes sense to the investors.
      This operation makes sense to the bond holders.
      This operation makes sense to the insurers.
      The amount of oil in all the turbines is less than .001% of all the oil a barge dumped in Buzzards Bay a few years back.

  8. Besides being an inefficient source of power and an adverse effect on marine and avian life, take a look at Europe and all the problems Siemens and other companies have had with turbine- and monopile-foundation-corrosion and resulting down-time and even complete shut-down. This is but one industry article that is informative – there are more. https://www.materialsperformance.com/articles/material-selection-design/2016/03/corrosion-risks-and-mitigation-strategies-for-offshore-wind-turbine-foundations
    Have you seen photos of these UK and North Sea wind farms? Take a look.

  9. What does “move along faster” mean? Continued disregard for the endangered marine life who migrate and are native to our waters. It means cutting corners when it comes to the NEPA and the Endangered Species Act, and their required environmental reviews. The time to study and take the steps necessary to protect the critically endangered North Atlantic Right Whale, birds, fish, bats and bug, our islands’ fragile ecosystem, is now, not after it’s built. Because once it’s done, it will be impossible to undo.

  10. What does “move along faster” mean? It means cutting corners when it comes to environmental review. NEPA and the Endangered Species Act are the very laws our government has put in place to protect our environment and endangered species. The industrial offshore energy project’s potential cumulative impacts on the critically endangered North Atlantic Right Whales, the birds, bugs, bats, fish, and sea turtles who live and migrate through the wind lease areas have shockingly not been studied. The time to study and take the necessary steps to protect the islands’ marine life and fragile ecosystem from this 1,400 sq mile installation, is now and not after the catastrophe.
    Because once it is done, it will be impossible to undo.

    • And arguing for continued dependence on fossil fuel, use will continue pollution of air, sea, and land; resulting in less favorable conditions for affordable food production, piracy of fishing fleets, and private ownership and sale of drinking water; breathing creatures will become extinct sooner, and humanity will no longer have the influence to damage any they touch.

      • Unfortunately, the renewables plan as currently conceived is also dependent on fossil fuels.

        That is the problem.

        We are, stupidly but for reasons anchored in past events, ignoring and demonizing the most advanced technology we have—state-the-art nuclear power generation as part of a mix of energy sources—that could solve this conundrum. Diffuse and intermittent sources such as wind and solar cannot power a modern society and economy. Sad, but true.

        • Please outline what you refer to as state-of-the-art nuke technology with an existing, on line example, not theoretical potentials such as thorium.
          The diffuse and intermittent renewables you refer to are indeed replacing fossil fuel generated energy sources where they are being succesfully deployed in developed and poor countries alike.
          Denmark, certainly what you´d call a modern society, is approaching 60% of total demand by wind alone. Nicaragua, the second poorest country in the western hemisphere, where I live derives nearly 70% of its electricity from renewable sources at this time.
          Encouraging news, and true!

          • Denmark’s actual use of wind power is too complicated to discuss in a comment thread. However, two important features IMO are the ownership structure of the turbines and available external storage—so Denmark can function as a “transit” state for wind energy. Wiki states that 90% of the national output is exported: “Annual wind power production is currently (2017) equal to about 43% of electricity consumed in Denmark. The proportion of this that is actually consumed in Denmark has been disputed, as the considerable hydropower resources of Norway (and to some extent, Sweden) is used as ***grid storage** with low loss. Hydropower can rapidly reduce generation whenever wind farms are generating power, saving water for later, and **can export electricity to Denmark when wind power output drops**. Short term, Denmark imports electricity from Norway during daytime and exports in nighttime. Long term, Denmark imports electricity in summer and exports in winter. Wind is higher in autumn and winter, when consumption is also high. This service of timeshifting production and consumption is also found around the world in pumped-storage hydroelectricity balancing coal and nuclear plants.

            “For timeshifting trade with Norway, Denmark exports at DKK 157/MWh and imports at DKK 212/MWh.” (Note the high price

            I am unaware of any storage capacity near the Cape for the current from offshore and I don’t know what Eversource’s storage plan is. The only pumped-storage facility I have read of in Mass is on the Deerfield River:

            The Wiki article is well worth reading for a quick overview.
            IMO the cooperative ownership aspect is central, and I said this back in 2003.

            Who owns “Vineyard Wind”? CIP, an international hedge fund corporation. A comment I submitted touching on this subject did not post.

    • We are are in the the process of undoing Pilgrim Nuclear.
      We are in the process of killing critically endangered North Atlantic Right Whales, the birds, bugs, bats, fish, and sea turtles who live and migrate through the wind lease areas, with hydrocarbons.

  11. Many of the offshore wind developers, with their multitude of ships and surveying equipment, are over the critically endangered North Atlantic Right Whales, and their year round core habitat, today.
    Please read this shocking comment letter, where scientists testified that the whales cannot withstand another layer of stress and they are profoundly concerned over the lack of studies regarding the cumulative impacts from the surveys, and the lack of steps taken to protect the whales, now numbered at 336.
    What they testified one year ago, is true today. Where are these groups now? This is shocking! https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.fisheries.noaa.gov/2020-10/Orsted2020HRG_public%20comments.pdf?null=

    • about the 90 percent entanglement that each Right Whale has suffered already in Fishing gear? Did you see that information?

    • Susan,
      You are absolutely right. This is madness. More Homo Insapient madness.

      “Human behavior is undermining the web of Life.” – Bruce Lipton PhD

      ” First of all, you must recognize that we are living in a mentally ill society. So either you recognize that we are living in a mentally ill society, or, if you do not recognize that we are living in a mentally ill society, then you yourself, are mentally ill.”
      – Deepak Chopra

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