Offshore Wind Power
In January 2015, Vineyard Power Coop formally partnered with Vineyard Wind, 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, Vineyard Wind 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 thousands of 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
2009: Founding of Vineyard Power
Since its founding, Vineyard Power has sought to create a renewable energy future that brought value to the island of Martha's Vineyard from the development of offshore wind farms south of our island.
Dec. 2010 - Dec. 2014: Site Assessment
The Department of Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) completes site assessment activities for offshore wind farm development approximately 14 miles off of Martha's Vineyard southern coast. BOEM engages stakeholders and the public through this process to define the potential lease zones for offshore wind farm development. BOEM also completes an environmental assessment on proposed area relating to impacts from future site assessment activity.
Along with members of our Renewable Energy Task Force and local and state politicians, Vineyard Power requested to BOEM that communities most impacted by offshore wind farm development receive direct benefits from these projects.
Jan. 29, 2015: Lease Sale
BOEM held a competitive lease sale (auction) for wind energy areas offshore MA. Leases were executed on April 1, 2015. Prior to lease sale, Vineyard Power and Vineyard Wind sign the first Community Benefit Agreement in the history of the US offshore wind industry.
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).
2015 - 2019: Surveys & Permitting
Each lessee submits a Site Assessment Plan (SAP) for specific lease site and submits a Construction and Operations Plan (COP) to be reviewed and approved by BOEM ahead of construction. Lessee's will also be required to complete an Environmental Impact Statement on their site.
2020 - 2021: Construction of the Wind Farm
2022: Wind Farm Begins Operation
Vineyard Power is working on benefits from this farm, including local jobs, control, and stable electricity prices. We are excited to develop this resource and keep its benefits local!