Vineyard Wind CEO Appears Before Barnstable Town Council
By DAVID BEATTY, CapeCod.com
BARNSTABLE – It has been a while since potential wind turbines off the coast of the Cape have been the topic of a town council meeting in Barnstable.
At their meeting last week, the Barnstable Town Council heard from Erich Stephens, the chief executive of Vineyard Wind, a company which is planning a substantial off-shore wind project.
Vineyard Wind currently holds a lease on 160,000 acres located roughly a dozen miles of the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, where it expects to develop a more than 1,000 megawatt wind farm.
“It’s an excellent site for an offshore wind project,” said the Vineyard Wind CEO , “It’s 13 miles to the nearest shore, minimal environmental impacts, good soil conditions and geology for installing foundations with minimal environmental impact.”
The company was before the town council as it looks for a location to bring their cable to shore and join the electrical grid. It is understood that developers are also considering a location in Yarmouth.
State officials have already announced their intention to have 1,600 megawatts of offshore energy produced in Massachusetts waters within the next decade.
“The total area is actually enough for 2000 megawatts of offshore wind,” Stephens told the council, “Now we’re focusing in the northern portion which is the upper 800 megawatts. But even just that 800 megawatts would avoid 1.5 million tons of carbon dioxide every year.”
The United States is currently home to just 30 megawatts of offshore wind. The proposed projects off the coast of the Vineyard would be the first for Massachusetts and the largest such project in the United States.