Secretary Haaland, Massachusetts Leaders Celebrate Groundbreaking of Nation’s First Commercial Offshore Wind Project in Federal Waters

Last edited 11/18/2021

Date: Thursday, November 18, 2021


BARNSTABLE, Mass. — Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland joined Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, Representative Bill Keating and others in Covell’s Beach, Barnstable, today to commemorate the groundbreaking for the Vineyard Wind 1 project, the first commercial scale offshore wind project in the United States. Today’s project is the first of many that will contribute to the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of 30 GW of offshore wind energy by 2030 and to Massachusetts’ goal of 5.6 GW by 2030. Utility scale offshore wind projects like the one breaking ground today are a hallmark of the infrastructure revolution underway under the Biden-Harris administration, including with the President’s signing this week of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

The first steps of construction will include two transmission cables that will connect the commercial-scale Vineyard Wind 1 offshore wind facility to the mainland. The Vineyard Wind I project will generate 800 megawatts of electricity annually, power over 400,000 homes, be built by union labor, and create hundreds of jobs.

“Vineyard Wind 1 represents a historic milestone for advancing our nation’s clean energy production. This project and others across the country will create robust and sustainable economies that lift up communities and support good-paying jobs, while also ensuring future generations have a livable planet,” said Secretary Haaland. “The Interior Department is committed to responsibly accelerating our nation’s transition to a clean energy future, and doing so in coordination with our partners, stakeholders, Tribes and ocean users to avoid and reduce potential impacts as much as we can.”

On July 15, 2021, the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) approved the Vineyard Wind 1 project plan to construct 62 wind turbines approximately 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket and 35 miles from mainland Massachusetts. Two submarine cables will carry the electricity from an offshore substation to the landing point at Covell’s Beach.

“The climate crisis demands our immediate action,” added Secretary Haaland. “That’s why the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is such an historic and monumental moment in this nation’s efforts to protect our lands and waters. It recognizes that, in order to keep our planet livable for future generations, we must get to a net-zero economy and make robust investments in sustainable economies, clean energy, and climate resilience.”

The Biden-Harris administration has made significant progress to spur responsible offshore wind energy development, which is driving the establishment of a robust U.S. domestic supply chain and the creation of a resilient clean energy economy.

BOEM completed its review of a Construction and Operations Plan (COP) for the Vineyard Wind project earlier this year, is currently reviewing 10 additional COPs, and plans to complete its review of another five or more COPs by 2025 (for a total of at least 16 COP reviews, which represent more than 19 GW of clean energy for the nation). In addition to preparing for a lease sale offshore the Carolinas, the Interior Department is preparing for lease sales in the New York Bight and offshore California next year, and is actively working with states, Tribes and stakeholders to explore wind potential in the Gulf of Maine and Gulf of Mexico and offshore Oregon and Hawaii.

Maps and additional information on this project are available on BOEM’s website.


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