VINEYARD HAVEN – State and federal officials will hold two meetings next week to discuss the next steps for leasing tracts of ocean south of the Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket for offshore wind energy projects.
The state Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center will host officials from the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management for the meetings June 23 in Vineyard Haven and June 24 in New Bedford, according to a statement from the state Office of Coastal Zone Management.
The Vineyard Haven meeting will take place at the Katharine Cornell Theatre, 54 Spring St., in Tisbury. The New Bedford meeting will take place at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, 18 Johnny Cake Hill. Both meetings are scheduled for 5-7 p.m.
Officials will explain what comes next in the federal government’s commercial leasing process for the Massachusetts Wind Energy Area south of the islands, which covers nearly 743,000 acres, or 877 square nautical miles. Another area of 164,000 acres of ocean southwest of the Vineyard was auctioned off last year for $3.8 million to Deepwater Wind New England LLC, which has proposed building 150-200 wind turbines there as well as an interconnection between New England’s electrical grid and Long Island.
Neither area covers the wind farm proposed by Cape Wind Associates LLC, for Nantucket Sound, which has proceeded on a separate permitting track.