Vineyard Wind Wraps Work for Summer at Coastal Site
NEW BEDFORD, Mass. — With the arrival of Memorial Day weekend, Vineyard Wind, the joint venture erecting an 800-MW wind farm off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard is wrapping work for the summer at Covell’s Beach in Barnstable, Massachusetts.
The cessation of work at the site where the venture plans to bring electrical cables ashore from the offshore wind farm, is part of an agreement with coastal communities not to have construction interfere with their highly profitable summer tourism seasons.
But while work is temporarily stopping on one part of the project, the announcement caps a busy spring for project partners Avangrid Renewables and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners.
Earlier this month, they signed a contract to build a new crew transfer vessel with Patriot Offshore Maritime Services, a Massachusetts company.
Patriot will construct the CTV at Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding in Somerset, Massachusetts.
The 88.5-foot vessel will be based on a proven catamaran design by Incat Crowther and will be capable of carrying up to 24 technicians and personnel.
“We are excited to have a Massachusetts company like Patriot on the Vineyard team and proud to support local jobs in Massachusetts through the employment of local maritime labor,” said Klaus Skoust Moeller, CEO of Vineyard Wind, in a written statement.
“These vessels will not only serve a critical role in both construction and operation and maintenance for our project but will also help to launch a new industry that will create jobs and reduce carbon pollution,” he said.
In late April, Vineyard Wind unveiled a new, multi-year collaboration with the University of New Hampshire to deploy a passive acoustic monitoring device to record ambient sound and marine mammal species vocalizations in the project lease area.
The monitoring device will record underwater sound a minimum of 30 days before the start of offshore construction and will remain active through at least three years of operations and maintenance.
“As the first commercial scale offshore wind farm in the U.S., we’ve tried to set a very high bar when it comes to marine mammal and environmental protections,” Moeller said in a separate statement.
“Our collaboration with the University of New Hampshire allows us to leverage their significant local expertise and build on existing scientific capacity in New England to support future work in this growing industry. The data we collect in this program will allow us to make informed, science-based decisions that will allow responsible wind energy development with minimal impact on the marine environment,” he said.
The University of New Hampshire previously led the Atlantic Deepwater Ecosystem Observatory Network, a baseline acoustic data collection project in the mid- and south-Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf.
“Sound is the dominant sensory mode for life underwater, and as the regional oceans become busier, sound from human activity has the possibility of masking biologically important sounds which could potentially alter the local ocean soundscape and impact marine life,” said Jennifer Miksis-Olds, research professor and director of UNH’s Center for Acoustics Research and Education in a statement
“This exciting collaboration with Vineyard Wind will provide valuable data that could help make a positive difference in effective monitoring and mitigation of marine mammals and be a model for future ocean users to be sound environmental stewards,” she said.
Vineyard Wind 1 is currently expected to begin delivering energy to Massachusetts in 2023.
At full capacity, the projects backers have said, it will generate enough electricity to power more than 400,000 homes and businesses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, save customers $1.4 billion over the first 20 years of operation, and reduce carbon emissions by more than 1.6 million metric tons per year – the equivalent of taking 325,000 cars off the road annually.
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