New England Wind is the proposal to develop offshore renewable wind energy facilities in Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Lease Area OCS-A 0534 along with associated offshore and onshore cabling, onshore substations, and onshore operations and maintenance (O&M) facilities. New England Wind will be developed in two Phases with a maximum of 130 wind turbine generator (WTG) and electrical service platform (ESP) positions. Two positions may potentially have co-located ESPs (i.e., two foundations installed at one grid position1), resulting in 132 foundations. Four or five offshore export cables will transmit electricity generated by the WTGs to onshore transmission systems in the Town of Barnstable, Massachusetts. Figure 1 provides an overview of New England Wind. Park City Wind LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Avangrid Renewables, LLC, is the Proponent and will be responsible for the construction, operation, and decommissioning of New England Wind.
New England Wind’s offshore renewable wind energy facilities are located immediately southwest of Vineyard Wind 1, which is located in Lease Area OCS-A 0501. New England Wind will occupy all of Lease Area OCS-A 0534 and potentially a portion of Lease Area OCS-A 0501 in the event that Vineyard Wind 1 does not develop “spare” or extra positions included in Lease Area OCS-A 0501 and Vineyard Wind 1 assigns those positions to Lease Area OCS-A 0534. For the purposes of the COP, the Southern Wind Development Area (SWDA) is defined as all of Lease Area OCS-A 0534 and the southwest portion of Lease Area OCS-A 0501.
The SWDA may be approximately 411–453 square kilometers (km2) (101,590–111,939 acres) in size depending upon the final footprint of Vineyard Wind 1. At this time, the Proponent does not intend to develop the two positions in the separate aliquots located along the northeastern boundary of Lease Area OCS-A 0501 as part of New England Wind (see Figure 1). The SWDA (excluding the two separate aliquots that are closer to shore) is just over 32 kilometers (km) (20 miles [mi]) from the southwest corner of Martha’s Vineyard and approximately 38 km (24 mi) from Nantucket.2 The WTGs and ESPs in the SWDA will be oriented in an east-west, north-south grid pattern with one nautical mile (NM) (1.85 km) spacing between positions.
Each Phase of New England Wind will be developed and permitted using a Project Design Envelope (the “Envelope”). This allows the Proponent to properly define and bracket the characteristics of each Phase for the purposes of environmental review while maintaining a reasonable degree of flexibility with respect to the selection of key components, such as the WTGs, foundations, offshore cables, and ESPs. To assess potential impacts and benefits to various resources, a “maximum design scenario,” or the design scenario with the maximum impacts anticipated for that resource, is established considering the Envelope parameters for each Phase. Two impact piling construction schedules were established based on the characteristics described within the Envelope that have the potential to cause the greatest effect. For some resources, this approach overestimates potential environmental impacts as the maximum design scenario is not the scenario that the Proponent is likely to employ.