New England Wind projects slated for construction

Offshore wind construction is ramping up near the Vineyard.

A turbine for the Vineyard Wind 1 project south of Martha's Vineyard—Eric Haynes


Construction of wind projects off the coast of the Vineyard is starting to ramp up.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) approved construction and operations plans for two major offshore wind projects recently: Ørsted’s Sunrise Wind received permission in late June, with Avangrid’s New England Wind receiving approvals this week.

Eighty-four turbines are planned for Sunrise Wind, with a capacity of producing 924 megawatts. The project could power more than 320,000 homes, according to the federal energy agency. It’s located around 18 miles southwest of Martha’s Vineyard, and will be providing power to New York. 

According to Ørsted, offshore wind construction will “ramp up” later this year, and Sunrise Wind is expected to be fully operational by 2026.

Meanwhile, the federal approval for New England Wind — consisting of two projects called New England Wind 1 and New England Wind 2 — is expected to have a total power capacity of 2,600 megawatts of energy, and could power more than 900,000 homes annually, according to the federal energy agency. 

The first part of the New England Wind project is expected to produce 791 megawatts, and construction is slated to start in 2025, Avangrid spokesperson Craig Gilvarg said. The wind farm is expected to start delivering power by 2029. Avangrid is still working through state and local permitting for the second half of the project, Gilvarg said. 

New England Wind is located a little over 20 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard. 

The plans for the two projects consist of up to 129 wind turbines, up to five electric service platforms, and up to five offshore export cables that would make landfall in Barnstable and Bristol County.

With federal approvals in hand for Sunrise and New England Wind projects, work is already underway for other wind farms even closer to the Vineyard. Revolution Wind, a 704-megawatt Ørsted offshore wind project just 12 miles from Aquinnah, kicked off construction in May, and completed the installation of its first turbine foundation. The wind farm will provide power to Connecticut and Rhode Island. Revolution Wind will consist of 65 wind turbines and two offshore substations. The U.S. Department of the Interior stated the offshore wind farm will be able to power more than 250,000 homes in Rhode Island and Connecticut. 

Avangrid announced on June 25 that Vineyard Wind 1 — 15 miles south of the Island — now has a total of 10 offshore wind turbines in operation, delivering 136 megawatts of power to the New England grid. Avangrid states this is enough to power more than 60,000 homes in Massachusetts. Sixty-two turbines are planned for the project, which could generate 806 megawatts of power, which the Interior Department has said would be enough to power 400,000 homes and businesses. 

While 10 turbines are up and delivering power, Avangrid states they’ve so far installed 21 turbines, and set up 47 foundations. 


      • albert– you know those lights will only be on
        until construction is complete. After that, only
        a few hours a year, when someone in their
        private plane comes within a few miles of them.
        I wonder if when that happens, people will
        complain about rich people ruining south shore
        views, and call for the banning of private planes.

        • They also claimed they were too far away to see. I’m not buying it. It will continue to be an eyesore in day time and even worse at night. Half the time the fog horn on the WHOI tower blares 24/7 even on crystal clear days and nights.

  1. When do Vineyard residents (or Vineyard Power members who signed up with the understanding they would receive a discounted rate for the Vineyard Wind project) get the 7.9 cents per KWh generation rate that Vineyard Wind contracted with the major Mass electric utilities including Eversource? power if feeding the grid? where’s the rate? (that’s my “beef!”)

    • Electric rates are not a guaranteed.
      The are always dictated by costs.
      Should Vineyard Wind sell at less than cost.
      Go out of business?
      Leave hundreds unemployed?
      Leave dead turbines in the water?

      You are OK with turbines as long as you get cheap watts?

    • Ana, would you rather have your own solar panels? eBay sells panels and inverters. Build a wood rack for the panels and have your favorite electrician install. Should pay for itself in three years. After the three years you will have free electricity for the rest of your life!

    • Ana– I have not heard about the “understanding” between
      Vineyard power members and Vineyard wind discount rates.
      I am curious about that. Could you please provide a little
      more information about it ?
      I looked and could not find anything about that.

  2. Andrew, I had responded to a comment from a previous column about changing over our society to all renewable—I made a typo saying it would only cost one million to switch, when I meant to say it would cost one trillion to switch. It’s the same number that we spend on fossil fuels every single year! We just need to get on with it and make the switch. China is further along the road than we are and they are able to manufacture with free electricity. That creates a huge financial advantage for the Chinese. We compete with the Chinese. We don’t have the advantage any more because we are letting conservative oil barons lie to us.

  3. Mary– why would someone think that China ( the world’s
    largest producer of renewable energy) would actually use
    some it in their own manufacturing processes ? — Like building
    more solar panels. On a recent comment here someone said
    that the Chinese were building our solar panels using coal
    for energy and it was all just a farse to make us feel good.
    How could anyone possibly doubt that claim ?
    Sort of like the claim that all the EV.s on the island are being
    charged by electricity generated by coal burning plants. Never mind
    that there is only one coal burning plant in New England that
    only generates a tiny fraction of one percent of our energy
    and only on about 20 days a year. I wonder what the ROI is on that
    one, andy ? Ohhh– I don’t think you know, so let me tell you :
    “That leaves the 459 MW Merrimack Station in Bow as the last power plant in the six-state region that burns coal. Its owners, Granite Shore Power, have no plans to shut it down even though it seldom runs, partly because it makes tens of millions of dollars in capacity payments in return for guaranteeing electricity production at peak times.”
    That’s called a “subsidy”. I wonder who pays those tens of millions of dollars
    in subsidies every year just to have the capacity to generate a little power a few days
    a year ? What do you think that works out to per KWH actually generated ?
    But, Mary, the point is that it is difficult to argue a logical point
    when the basis of the counter argument is based on illogical and untrue
    But you never know if you are making progress. Its been a while since
    anyone has made the idiotic claim that the EV’s on the Vineyard are being
    powered by burning coal.
    Even andy now concedes that the earth is warming.
    A significant baby step on the long journey to combatting
    anthropomorphically induced climate change.
    Perhaps someday we won’t have to suffer through
    idiotic claims that the windmills are killing whales.

  4. Keller I have never claimed Ev’s on MV are running due to Coal induced electricity. Stop lying please. I have always claimed that the earth is warming a bit but I have also claimed it is cyclical in nature and furthermore we should not make apocalyptic claims about it nor spend millions and trillions of dollars to mitigate it. I have also told you that I have lived in Indonesia and Singapore and Malaysia where it is always hot, very hot and didnt suffer nor did the population. I have also asked everyone what the temperature drop would be if we spent say 40 trillion dollars to mitigate the climate and am waiting for an answer.

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