This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

July 14, 2004

Massachusetts Offshore Wind Plant Clears Regulatory Hurdle

Photo of wind turbine surrounded by ocean.

The proposed U.S. facilities will use GE's 3.6-megawatt wind turbine, shown here installed off the coast of Ireland.
Credit: Bob Thresher, NREL

Cape Wind Associates, LLC cleared a regulatory hurdle in early July, when it received a tentative decision for approval for its electric transmission lines from the Massachusetts Energy Facility Siting Board (EFSB). After reviewing the major issues surrounding the project over a 22-month review process, the EFSB approved the proposal to build two 18-mile transmission lines to connect the proposed wind plant in Nantucket Sound to the electrical grid. The lines would run 12.2 miles under the sound and then through an underground duct for 5.9 miles. Cape Wind intends to build a 420-megawatt wind project on Horseshoe Shoal, five miles off the coast of Cape Cod in Massachusetts. See the Cape Wind press release and the EFSB decision (PDF 392 KB). Download Acrobat Reader.

An effort to build an offshore wind plant south of Long Island also moved ahead in late June, when the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) Board of Trustees approved the utility's energy plan. See the LIPA press release.

The offshore wind industry also suffered a setback on July 8th, as Vestas Wind Systems A/S announced that it will remove, dismantle, and upgrade its 80 2-megawatt wind turbines installed at Horns Reef in the North Sea, about 9 miles off the coast of Denmark. The 160-megawatt project, installed in 2002, "has experienced a series of problems," says Vestas, "and it has been ascertained that all transformers and a number of generators had to be changed" because of the harsh environment. The U.S. offshore wind plants, by the way, plan to use turbines manufactured by GE Energy. See the Vestas press release (PDF 19 KB).