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Environmental League of Massachusetts. Green Energy Consumers Alliance. Health Care Without Harm
Environmental League of Massachusetts. Green Energy Consumers Alliance. Health Care Without Harm. National Wildlife Federation. UMASS/Amherst. Natural Resources Council of Maine. Clean Energy New Hampshire.
These are a few of the members that formed a new, six-state coalition, New England for Offshore Wind, which plans to pursue a regional approach to the development of offshore wind power.
The Commonwealth already is at the front of the pack.
In Massachusetts, the Baker administration and the utilities have contracted with two developers — Vineyard Wind and Mayflower Wind, to generate a cumulative 1,600 megawatts of clean energy from wind farms planned for waters south of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.
If both projects come to fruition as expected, state officials have said they would provide about 12 percent of total Massachusetts annual energy demand.
The Vineyard Wind I project is farthest along, and is in line to be the nation’s first utility-scale offshore wind farm. It is projected to generate at least 3,600 jobs and reduce costs for Massachusetts ratepayers by an estimated $1.4 billion.
Regulatory reviews are still under way at the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and the federal agency now lists March 18, 2021 as the date it will issue its decision on approval and permitting.
If the project can move forward from that point, Vineyard Wind could be operational in 2023. It’s to be situated 15 miles off the southern coast of Martha’s Vineyard.
Mayflower Wind, slated to be built 20 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard, is expected to be operational by December 2025.
Massachusetts would have been a pioneer in wind energy nationwide had the Cape Wind project succeeded. It would’ve been built on Horseshoe Shoal, in Nantucket Sound, just five miles off the coast of Mashpee, roughly, between the Cape and the islands.
It was unveiled way back in 2001, but after 16 years of regulatory studies, nonstop lawsuits and push back from local groups including the powerful Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound — and even the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, it finally ceased development plans in 2017, two years after NSTAR, now Eversource, and National Grid terminated the contracts they had signed to buy its energy. By then it had been driven into dire financial difficulties as well.
We hope that now, the newly formed coalition (web site: newenglandforoffshorewind.com) will be able to make big strides in regional offshore wind.
It’s our belief that offshore wind is our best chance for developing large-scale sources of renewable energy. (Every solar installation on our homes, municipal buildings, landfill caps and commercial properties helps, too.)
The coalition predicts that as wind development moves forward in coming years, the costs of offshore installations will fall, and New England’s old coal and oil power plants will be unable to compete.
“Dirty power plants will retire, for good. Replacing these plants with offshore wind will reduce pollution improve air quality, a significant public health concern for our most vulnerable communities. This transition away from fossil fuels to clean energy is essential in our fight against climate change. All New England states are aiming to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent or more below 1990 levels by 2050—we can’t get there without offshore wind,” the coalition says.
In late August its members sent a letter to all six New England governors — Gov. Charlie Baker, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, Maine Gov. Janet Mills, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu and Vermont Gov. Phil Scott — urging them to issue a joint resolution “in support of creating a shared vision and driving regional collaboration on offshore wind.”
By embracing the coalition, working together, sharing resources and striving to attain regional goals, these states can be the envy of the country in creating renewable energy, and be an example to others as we all move toward significantly reducing our carbon footprints
With an Engineers degree in Advanced Database Management and Information Security, Sandesh brings the deep understanding of the digital world to the table. His articles reflect the challenges and the complexities that come along with every disruption in the industry. He carries over six years of experience on working with websites and ensuring that the right article reaches the right reader.