Gradient Provides Technical Support for the First Commercial-scale Offshore Wind Project to Gain Approval in the US
Gradient is proud to have played a role in the approval of this historic offshore wind project.
Recently, the Biden administration announced approval of the first commercial-scale offshore wind development project in the US. The Vineyard Wind 1 project, located approximately 15 miles off the coast of Massachusetts, south of Martha’s Vineyard, will consist of an array of 62 turbines that will generate enough energy to power approximately 400,000 homes in New England. Energy from the wind turbine array will be collected at an offshore substation and transmitted onshore by submarine export cables buried along the seafloor to a mid-Cape landfall site. From the landfall site, the onshore transmission route will consist of primarily underground cables installed along public roads, ultimately connecting to the regional grid in Barnstable.
To support project permitting and to understand the electric and magnetic (EMF) impacts of the project offshore and onshore electrical infrastructure, Gradient worked collaboratively with the Vineyard Wind team, including Epsilon Associates, the lead environmental consultant, to provide technical services that included:
- Modeling magnetic fields for both submarine export cables and onshore transmission components of the project;
- Conducting magnetic field effects characterizations for marine animals and humans; and
- Helping to identify project design components (e.g., submarine export cable burial depths, onshore underground duct bank conductor arrangements) that would mitigate magnetic field impacts.
The Vineyard Wind 1 project is the first of what is anticipated to be many upcoming commercial-scale projects to receive federal approval. The Biden administration plans to complete reviews for at least 16 other offshore wind projects within the next four years, in its efforts to achieve a goal of 30 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity in US waters by 2030. We look forward to helping to support this ambitious effort, which will contribute to cuts in carbon dioxide emissions of 78 million metric tons per year, approximately equivalent to removing 17 million cars from the road for a year.
Gradient has project expertise in several technical areas associated with offshore wind development and has worked on multiple offshore wind projects in the past four years. If you have any questions about Gradient’s capabilities related to EMF assessment for offshore wind projects or other energy transmission infrastructure, please visit our website or contact: