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'Virtual tour' shows two underground cable routes through Falmouth for Mayflower Wind

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Mayflower Wind
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A screen shot from the Mayflower Wind virtual tour shows where underground cables would run inland from Falmouth Heights Beach via either Worcester Park (right) or Central Park (left). The blue-green lines indicate the cable path.

Mayflower Wind used computer modeling to give a live virtual tour Thursday of its proposed onshore work in Falmouth.

For its first two contracts, the offshore wind company plans to bring power ashore at Brayton Point, in Somerset. Those contracts total 1,204 megawatts. But in a future phase — not yet contracted — it intends to connect to the power grid through Falmouth Heights Beach.

Heading inland from the beach, underground cables could run through either Worcester Park — Mayflower’s first choice — or the Central Park ballfields.

From there, the line would run to a new substation, the location of which has not been determined.

Mayflower’s lead onshore engineer, Kelly Smith, said the company is looking at sites owned by Lawrence Lynch Corp. and Cape Cod Aggregates Corp.

“We have had ongoing and positive dialog with the landowners of both of these facilities,” she said.

Mayflower’s preference is to locate at Lawrence Lynch Corp., according to Mayflower’s external outreach manager, Christopher Hardy, who showed renderings during the virtual tour.

But Smith said Mayflower does not have an agreement to lease or buy any property from Lawrence Lynch Corp.

“We've identified it as a promising site,” she said. “And I know at this point in time, the owner has no plans to relocate his processing and other activities.”

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A screenshot from the Mayflower Wind virtual tour shows the location of Central Park (center, with ballfield) and Worcester Park (long rectangular green space at right). In the foreground is Falmouth Heights Beach.

The town of Falmouth would receive income via a host community agreement for hosting the infrastructure. Smith said the agreement “would offer consistent revenue for the duration of [the wind farm’s] operation, which could be used at town discretion to fund all sorts of programs.”
Mayflower Wind was selected for contracts in the second and third Massachusetts bidding processes — 804 megawatts in the first contract, and 400 in the second. Those projects are expected to send power through Brayton Point.

The company’s total lease area has the capacity for approximately double that, at 2,400 megawatts, and Mayflower’s federal permitting application covers all 2,400 megawatts, even though its contracts remain at 1,204.

Future contracts would route power through Falmouth, according to the presentation Thursday.

Mayflower’s federal approval process is scheduled to last into late 2023.

Mayflower is the second offshore wind project to receive a Massachusetts contract, following Vineyard Wind, which broke ground last fall.