The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has issued its first approval of an offshore wind Site Assessment Plan (SAP) to Bay State Wind, a utility-scale offshore wind project in Massachusetts located 15 nautical miles south of Martha’s Vineyard in the Atlantic Ocean.
Bay State Wind is a joint venture between DONG Energy – the global leader in offshore wind with 22 commercial-scale offshore wind projects around the world – and Eversource – the premier transmission builder in New England. The combined experience of both entities ensures the most economically beneficial plan for offshore wind development in Massachusetts.
“We are thrilled to be the first in the country to receive this approval from BOEM, and to be a part of this huge step forward for the offshore wind industry in the U.S.,” said Thomas Brostrøm, North America president of DONG Energy. “Bay State Wind will produce reliable clean energy for Massachusetts with scale that maximizes job creation, cost effectiveness and economic benefits for Massachusetts and local communities. We look forward to continued collaboration with BOEM as we work to make Massachusetts and the U.S. a hub for offshore wind.”
“This is a significant milestone for the project and an important step forward in helping Massachusetts meet its climate change goals,” said Mike Ausere, vice president of Business Strategy at Eversource. “We’re proud to partner with the global leader in offshore wind energy and appreciate the support of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management in getting this important industry off the ground in the United States.”
In August 2016, Massachusetts formally adopted a comprehensive energy bill that includes a first-of-its-kind mandate that state utilities purchase 1600 megawatts of offshore wind power. In June, Massachusetts utilities took their first step toward fulfilling the mandate with a request for proposals to build the state’s first project.
Bay State Wind will submit a proposal for the Massachusetts contracts, which will be awarded in 2018. DONG Energy will use its expertise in the offshore wind sector to continue to lead the development and construction of the project’s offshore generation and transmission assets, while Eversource will leverage its strong transmission expertise in New England to develop and construct the onshore transmission asset. The project could generate enough electricity to power one million Massachusetts homes and create hundreds of jobs throughout the life of the wind farm.
The BOEM approval paved the way for Bay State Wind’s next crucial step – deployment of the FLiDAR WindSentinel system off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard to measure wave and wind speeds in the project’s lease area. The system is currently deployed for two years, and includes a camera to broadcast images from the system as it collects data – viewable online 24 hours per day at: https://portal.axys-aps.com/platforms/P2012P/.