Last December, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management auctioned off lease rights for developing offshore wind in the New England Wind Energy Area. The auction brought in hundreds of millions of dollars.
Recently, the five New England offshore wind leaseholders – Equinor, Mayflower Wind, Ørsted, Eversource, and Vineyard Wind – jointly submitted a uniform turbine layout proposal to the U.S. Coast Guard.
The five developers joined forces to respond to feedback from key stakeholders in the region including the fisheries industry, the Coast Guard, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and coastal communities.
The proposed layout specifies that wind turbines will be spaced one nautical mile apart, arranged in east-west rows an north-south columns, and the rows and columns will be continuous across all New England lease area. Independent expert analysis confirmed that this uniform layout would provide for robust navigational safety and search-and-rescue capability by providing hundreds of transit corridors to accommodate the region’s vessel traffic.
Vessels up to 400 feet in length can safely operate within the proposed turbine layout and will allow the region’s many fishing vessels to follow a wide range of transit paths as they come from many different ports and head to a variety of fishing grounds.
The New England Wind Energy Area is expected to be able to provide as much as 8 GW of electricity generation for the states in the region. Getting approval for this planned layout is one of multiple steps required before the offshore wind complex becomes a reality. Overall, states along the U.S. East Coast are seeking to procure more than 19,300 MW of offshore wind capacity through 2035
Photo courtesy of Flickr.