In another move forward against Climate Change, Massachusetts will be home to the United States' first utility-scale offshore wind project. Vineyard Wind, about 35 miles off the Mass coast, will produce up to 800 megawatts of electricity, powering 400,000 homes and businesses across the Commonwealth, dropping carbon emissions by up to 1.6 million tons per year.
The project has faced years and years of legal challenges and other issues, from environmental studies to lawsuits from local residents of Nantucket. As of today (9/28/2023), Nantucket residents have actually filed another suit (Saturday September 26) with the First Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn a district court ruling dismissing their prior lawsuit. The current suit centers on the allegation that federal authorities failed to consider the best evidence regarding impacts on endangered right whales in the area that would be effected by the project.
Construction began in 2021, with cable laying to bring turbine power to the offshore substation. The turbines themselves began being constructed this past summer. The final project will include 62 turbines, each close to 850 feet tall. The project will be underway until 2024, but spokesmen for Avangrid (one of the project partners) expressed confidence that initial power generation would be online by the end of 2023.
One of the more recent confounding issues for Vineyard Wind is economic uncertainty in the general economy, particularly around offshore wind projects themselves. Supply chain, energy prices, rising interest rates, and labor issues have pushed costs for all building, and particularly turbine project building, through the roof.
We wrote an article for Oil & Energy's September issue discussing the Vineyard Wind project and its current status. You can read that full article here: Construction Begins at Massachusetts' Utility-Scale Offshore Wind Project
(For more articles & info on Climate & Carbon topics in general, go here: Climate Change)