Vineyard Wind announces partnership to protect marine mammals

Vineyard Wind announced a partnership with Charles River Analytics to protect marine mammals during the construction of the Vineyard 1 project. — Courtesy NOAA Fisheries

Vineyard Wind announced a new partnership with Charles River Analytics, a Cambridge-based research and development firm, in a press release. The partnership is “aimed at further protecting marine mammals during the construction of the Vineyard Wind 1 project.” Additionally, Vineyard Wind will use Awarion, “an artificial intelligence and computer vision system that complements and supports human lookouts and marine radar systems,” to detect marine mammals, ships, and fishing gear. Awarion will use “electro-optical and infrared video to detect, analyze, and report” on what it finds, even at long distances. 

“The knowledge we’ve gained through working with marine mammal experts at the New England Aquarium and veteran mariners has been incorporated into this technology,” Ross Eaton, principal scientist and director of marine systems at Charles River Analytics, said in the release. “Awario is a ‘win-win’ for our team in that it combines marine science and cutting-edge technology that will have a positive impact on the natural environment.”

Vineyard 1 is “an 800-megawatt project located 15 miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard,” according to the release. It is expected to generate electricity for over 400,000 homes and businesses in Massachusetts. Other benefits the release listed were the creation of “3,600 full-time-equivalent (FTE) job years,” $1.4 billion saved for customers over the first 20 years of operation, and an expected reduction of 1.6 million metric tons of carbon emission per year, “the equivalent of taking 325,000 cars off the road annually.”

“We are excited about the opportunity to work with Charles River Analytics to advance local technologies focused on reducing the risk of vessel collision with marine fauna,” Vineyard Wind CEO Klaus Moeller said in the release. “This partnership is being supported with funding from the Innovations Marine Mammals Program, which was created by Vineyard Wind to enable the development and demonstration of innovative methods and technologies to enhance protections for marine mammals as the Massachusetts and U.S. offshore wind industry grows.”


Comments are closed.