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Environmental review begins for Revolution Wind, off Aquinnah

Revolution Wind.JPG
Revolution Wind via U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
A visual simulation by EDR shows what Revolution Wind could look like from Moshup Beach in Aquinnah.

Another offshore wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts is taking a big step forward.

Revolution Wind, proposed for a location 12 miles southwest of Martha’s Vineyard, is moving forward in the federal permitting process.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has issued a draft Environmental Impact Statement, or EIS — an in-depth analysis hundreds of pages long — and launched a 45-day public comment period.

Public meetings will be held virtually and in person, in Aquinnah and New Bedford, and in East Greenwich, Rhode Island.

Revolution Wind’s project development director, Kellen Ingalls, said project staff are looking forward to getting more feedback.

“That's how we make this the best possible project, one that we can be proud of,” he said.

Ingalls works for Danish energy company Orsted, a 50-50 partner in the wind farm with New England power company Eversource.

Rev Wind lease area.JPG
The Revolution Wind lease area is located southwest of Martha's Vineyard and northwest of other lease areas off Massachusetts. The empty rectangle in the "hull" of its ship-like shape was formerly part of the same lease area, but has been separated for another project, South Fork Wind.

He said Revolution Wind has been consulting with the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) and the fishing industry, and he expects to hear from them again during the EIS review.

“Those are two groups of really important stakeholders and communities that we have been working with, and will continue to work with,” he said. “That's why this draft EIS is so important.”

Revolution Wind’s lease area sits northwest of other lease areas off Massachusetts for Vineyard Wind, Mayflower Wind, and Commonwealth Wind. On wind development maps, it’s the area sometimes described as resembling a ship.

The permitting will allow up to 100 turbine locations, but Revolution Wind plans to install 65 turbines to meet its contracts with Rhode Island and Connecticut for a combined 704 megawatts of power.

Massachusetts does not have a contract with Revolution Wind, but the turbines will be visible from Aquinnah. Visual simulation videos produced by a project consultant are available online.

The public comment period runs through Oct. 17.

Jennette Barnes is a reporter and producer. Named a Master Reporter by the New England Society of News Editors, she brings more than 20 years of news experience to CAI.