Feds approve 129-turbine project for Vineyard waters

New England Wind still needs local and state approval but it would be substantially larger than others approved so far.

The yellow zone is where New England Wind is proposed to be built. —Courtesy of BOEM

Updated April 3

What could become the largest offshore wind farm in New England waters received federal approval this week. 

The United States Department of the Interior announced in a Tuesday press release that it has approved New England Wind, the eighth commercial-scale wind farm in the nation to receive federal approval. 

New England Wind consists of two projects: a 791-megawatt wind farm called New England Wind 1, and an 1,080-megawatt project called New England Wind 2. Combined; they would add up to 1,871 megawatts to the grid. 

Located around 20 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard, the project would consist of up to 129 wind turbines and up to five export cables that will connect to onshore transmission systems in the Town of Barnstable and in Bristol County. Some of those cables would travel through Muskeget Channel off of Edgartown.

Last month, Avangrid announced it submitted multiple bids in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island for the projects, with bids consisting of either one or both New England Wind 1 and 2. 

Originally, the projects were submitted under different names. New England Wind 1 used to be the over 800-megawatt Park City Wind project and New England Wind 2 used to be the over 1,200-megawatt Commonwealth Wind project. But Avangrid pulled the contracts, with penalties of $16 million for Park City Wind and $48 million for Commonwealth Wind, due to financial and supply chain issues. Officials at the time said they pulled the projects with the hope of securing higher prices.

The combined project would be over twice the size of Sunrise Wind, the 924-megawatt offshore wind project to be built in waters 16 miles south of the Vineyard. Sunrise received federal approval last month and is expected to consist of up to 84 turbines. New England Wind would also be much larger than Vineyard Wind 1, another project partly owned by Avangrid that is currently under construction around 15 miles south of the Vineyard. Vineyard Wind 1 is permitted for 62 wind turbines and is expected to deliver over 800 megawatts of power. 

Despite the large size, it remains to be seen whether New England Wind will actually be the largest project near the Island. Avangrid says that New England Wind 2 would only go forward under the current proposals if it was tied into New England Wind 1, and that will need approval from multiple states and local entities. 

Avangrid chief development officer Ken Kimmell said while the federal government signed off on both New England Wind 1 and New England Wind 2, the ultimate decision on whether both projects go forward will depend on the responses from the bid teams of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Kimmell said this decision is expected to take place in August. 

New England Wind will also need local approvals. 

The Martha’s Vineyard Commission (MVC) will host a public hearing on the New England Wind 2 connector cable on Thursday, April 11; the Edgartown conservation commission will also have to sign off on the cable project after MVC review. 

According to Kimmell, if Avangrid is not successful by August, the company may rebid the project in the future.

Acquiring federal approval was a lengthy process, according to a Tuesday morning Avangrid press release. Over 750 comments were taken under consideration. 

Avangrid touted the New England Wind 1 project as an “exceptionally advanced and shovel-ready project” that will make landfall under the Craigville Beach parking lot in Barnstable. 

The company also says that the project has the potential to boost the local economy. Officials say that they are using an offshore wind davit crane manufacturer to New Bedford as well as building a new staging and assembly port in Salem. 

Avangrid says that combined, New England Wind 1 and 2 could create up to 9,200 jobs and bring $8 billion in direct investment to the region. 

The New England Wind lease area also brings large climate benefits. Avangrid states that the proposed project is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 4 million tons, which is equivalent to taking “approximately 700,000 cars off the road each year during the lifespan of the project.”

Updated with information regarding the former iterations of the New England Wind projects. 


    • not before we take him down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! he needs to go before those turbines!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • The day you can see the means of production of the electricity you consume?
      The day the music died was the end of BRW, the washashores got there way.

  1. All of the numbers these companies throw around are all picked from bias elaborate guess work. What is not talked about is the huge tax payer money they get in forms of grants and rebates that we all pay for. This has and continues to be the fleecing of the American tax payer to the benifit of foreign companies. Time will tell if it actually helps the environment it is doubtful as we are one world but this is not about the environment it is about profit.

    • Bob, how much tax money will “they” get?
      How much money will General Electric get.
      How much will Liberty Marine get (Crew Transfer Vessel Operator)?
      How much will Foss Marine get (Heavy Lift Vessels and Terminals)?
      Gladding and Hearn is getting 12 million per CTV.
      Four are on order.
      The first one is a year late.
      G and H had to get work visas for Guatemalan welders.
      Americans are resistant to hard, hot, dirty work.

      You make lots of claims but have no numbers.

      GE, Vineyard Wind, Foss Marine, Liberty Marine and Gladding and Hearn are US companies.

      The US has a capitalist economy. no profit, no economy.
      Do the companies you work for or buy from make a profit?

      Has the environment gotten worse over the last twenty years? Should we do something different? Should American Exceptionalism lead the way to a better world?

    • Bob, you are not being fleeced. And if you think you are, then buy your own solar panels and wind turbines off eBay and exit the grid. I talked to a guy yesterday who said for $5k he bought a wind turbine and solar panels with a battery pack that runs his car, his golf cart, his shed, his shop, and 80% of his house. Oh, and don’t forget to get your tax rebate that your fellow taxpayers will give back to you, 30% of your investment. Go on, fleece your neighbors.

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