Ten developers have expressed interest in building offshore wind farms in federal waters south of Martha’s Vineyard in an area that has the potential to power 1.7 million Massachusetts households.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced recently that it had identified a viable Wind Energy Area about 14 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard in what to date is the largest proposed offshore wind development area along the East Coast.
“The area off of Massachusetts has tremendous energy generation potential, and we will continue to evaluate and mitigate the potential impacts of offshore wind energy development on wildlife habitat, fisheries and sea bird migration,” said BOEM Director Tommy P. Beaudreau in a statement.
“If these projects are developed in a cost effective manner, we estimate the area could generate up to 4,000 megawatts of wind energy,” Gov. Deval Patrick said recently.
BOEM is beginning on the area which has been reduced in size from original considerations based on environmental concerns.
Specifically, BOEM said it has excluded an area of high sea duck concentration and an area of high value fisheries to reduce conflict with commercial and recreational fishing activities.
The WEA defined today begins approximately 12 nautical miles south of Martha’s Vineyard and 13 nautical miles southwest of Nantucket. From its northern boundary, the area extends 33 nautical miles southward to the 60 meter depth contour and has an east/west extent of approximately 47 nautical miles. The WEA is approximately 742,974 acres and contains 117 whole OCS lease blocks as well as 20 partial blocks.
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