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Wind Power News: Massachusetts


These news and opinion items are gathered by National Wind Watch to help keep readers informed about developments related to industrial wind energy. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of National Wind Watch. They are the products of and owned by the organizations or individuals noted and are shared here according to “fair use” and “fair dealing” provisions of copyright law.

March 17, 2023 • MassachusettsPrint storyE-mail story

SouthCoast wind needs town permission, officials say

SouthCoast Wind must jump through various federal, state and local hoops before making a cable landfall in Falmouth Heights. At the town level, it must win support for an override of Article 97 of the state constitution, which protects public lands. For months residents have been speculating as to what degree the company can bypass local authorities and bylaws. Can the company get a “carte blanche waiver” from the state to proceed regardless of how the town feels? But there . . . Complete story »

March 1, 2023 • MassachusettsPrint storyE-mail story

Falmouth Select Board doubles down on denying wind developer access

Falmouth Select Board on Monday night, February 27, doubled down on its earlier vote to deny offshore wind developers access to town property. Board members said SouthCoast Wind lacks transparency and has not worked well with the town. But board members stressed they are not taking an official stance on SouthCoast Wind’s overall proposal to bring its electricity ashore in Falmouth. In December, the select board voted to deny the company access to public lands in Falmouth Heights for further . . . Complete story »

January 26, 2023 • Massachusetts, OpinionsPrint storyE-mail story

‘Strategy’ to protect right whales from offshore wind development is recipe for extinction

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) published a draft of their strategy to protect the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale (NARW) from the hazards of offshore wind development this past fall. The report is a heartbreaking portrayal of the plight of the 336 remaining right whales. Approximately 230 animals have died over the past decade. Autopsies and photo documentation conclude that fishing gear entanglement and vessel strikes have caused the . . . Complete story »

January 21, 2023 • MassachusettsPrint storyE-mail story

‘Cannot be financed and built’: Company behind big offshore wind energy appeals DPU approval

The developer behind the largest single offshore wind farm in the state’s pipeline on Thursday filed a formal notice of appeal to contest the Department of Public Utilities’ approval of contracts that the developer agreed to but says will no longer allow its project to be financed or built. The DPU last month determined that the contracts, which the wind developers and utility companies agreed to in May, “are in the public interest” and approved them over the developer’s objections. . . . Complete story »

December 29, 2022 • Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, U.S.Print storyE-mail story

US ignored own scientists’ warning in backing Atlantic wind farm

US government scientists warned federal regulators the South Fork offshore wind farm near the Rhode Island coast threatened the Southern New England Cod, a species so ingrained in regional lore that a wooden carving of it hangs in the Massachusetts state house. The Interior Department approved the project anyway. The warnings were delivered in unpublished correspondence weeks before Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management authorized the 12-turbine South Fork plan in November 2021. And they serve to underscore the potential . . . Complete story »

December 21, 2022 • MassachusettsPrint storyE-mail story

Falmouth Select Board denies Mayflower Wind access

The Falmouth Select Board voted 4-1 on Monday, December 19, to deny Mayflower Wind Energy LLC access to town property to study landfall sites for electric cables connecting its proposed offshore windfarm to the electrical grid.  Mayflower Wind plans to construct the windfarm in federal waters 30 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard. To do so, the company needs to tunnel electric cables underground that would connect to two different substations. One of the proposed substation sites is in Falmouth; the other is . . . Complete story »

December 17, 2022 • Maine, MassachusettsPrint storyE-mail story

Wind energy developer files to scrap power agreements

Declaring that the largest offshore wind farm in the state’s pipeline “cannot be financed and built” under existing contracts, Commonwealth Wind on Friday asked Massachusetts regulators to scrap the agreements the company reached with utilities and reopen a new round of bidding. Commonwealth Wind filed a motion with the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) seeking dismissal of the power purchase agreements it reached with utility companies in May, which would render them moot, and a reopening of the process of . . . Complete story »

December 12, 2022 • Maine, MassachusettsPrint storyE-mail story

Future of Aroostook wind energy project may hinge on Massachusetts

Before a multibillion-dollar transmission line and wind farm are built in northern Maine, officials in Massachusetts must determine if the project will benefit that state’s residents. Clean energy from the north, to help New England states meet their climate goals. Lower electric rates for Maine customers, with Massachusetts picking up the tab. High-voltage wires strung through Maine forestland and utility corridors, requiring approval as a “high impact transmission line” from the Legislature. Sound familiar? No, it’s not the New England . . . Complete story »

December 6, 2022 • MassachusettsPrint storyE-mail story

Hull considers fate of nonfunctioning wind turbine

The wind turbine at the tip of the Hull peninsula hasn’t been working since April 2021, and officials are deciding whether to repair it or take it down. The 21-year-old machine named Hull Wind 1 “needs a complete overhaul of its generating components” at an estimated cost of $1.5 million, according to Town Manager Philip Lemnios. The unit is no longer being manufactured, so the only available parts are either “after-market” or rehabilitated from other turbines – with no guarantees on . . . Complete story »

November 30, 2022 • Massachusetts, U.S.Print storyE-mail story

Endangered whales at risk from offshore wind, NOAA scientist warns

Planned wind projects off the New England coast threaten to harm the region’s dwindling population of endangered right whales, according to a US government marine scientist.  The warning from a top National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration official, obtained by Bloomberg under a Freedom of Information Act request, underscores the potential legal and environmental perils of offshore wind development along the coast. President Joe Biden has a goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind within the decade. Both initial construction . . . Complete story »

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