Offshore Wind Power
In January 2015, Vineyard Power Coop formally partnered with OffshoreMW, a company well experienced in the offshore wind industry, through the signing of a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA). As the first CBA signed in the US, this partnership will ensure that the benefits of offshore wind remain local as it is developed.
On January 29, 2015, OffshoreMW won the rights to develop a wind farm on 166,000 acres of leased water 12 nautical miles south of Martha's Vineyard through a competitive auctioning process held by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). As this project is developed in the coming years, our community benefits, engagement, and participation will be maximized.
The next development steps are site assessment and planning ahead of construction. We estimate this process will take another 3-5 years before construction. Throughout this process, we are looking to pass meaningful legislation in the State Government in order to promote the development of offshore wind in New England and to ensure that local communities can benefit from the development of renewable energy. It is estimated the offshore wind industry will directly create over 25,000 jobs for the south coast through the development phase and beyond, into the maintenance and operations phases over the next 25-30 years.
History of VP and Offshore Wind
Since its founding in 2009, Vineyard Power has sought to create a renewable energy future. A key part of this future surrounds the ultimate goal of building a community owned offshore wind farm.
The Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) began the lengthy process of offshore wind development off the Atlantic Coast the same year Vineyard Power was founded. Along with members of our Renewable Energy Task Force and local and state politicians, Vineyard Power has continually requested to BOEM that communities most impacted by offshore wind farm development receive direct benefits from these projects.
Offshore wind resources are steadier and stronger than the wind we experience on land due to less turbulence and friction. As an island off the coast of Massachusetts, Martha’s Vineyard is uniquely situated to benefit from offshore wind. All open water to the east, southeast, and south of the Vineyard is classified as “Excellent” or “Outstanding” for this resource by the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL). BOEM held a competitive auction to award companies the leasing rights to take advantage of the wind power off of our coast. We are excited to develop this resource and keep its benefits local.
Vineyard Power is putting great effort into investigating potential sites for offshore wind power generation that can be owned and operated by the cooperative. One benefit to having a local cooperative involved in the construction of a wind farm is that we can ensure that no development is undertaken that will have an undue negative effect on the marine or avian life, as well as sites, structures, objects of historical, cultural, or archaeological significance.
Don’t hesitate to contact us for more information about the competitive auction, benefits of offshore wind, or our cooperative. We can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (508) 693-3002.