Massachusetts-based offshore wind developer Bay State Wind plans to provide more than USD 2 million in grants for research and programs to protect New England’s fisheries and whale populations.
The grants include USD 1 million for a Bay State Wind Marine Science Grant Program for directed fisheries resources research on the Bay State Wind lease area. Funded projects will focus on addressing specific questions and concerns raised by the fishing industry.
In addition, the Woods Hole Oceanography Institute would receive a USD 500,000 multi-year grant for the development of advanced whale detection systems, and the New England Aquarium Right Whale Research Project and the Lobster Foundation of Massachusetts would each receive USD 250,000 to prevent gear entanglement of the North Atlantic Right Whale.
Also included in Bay State Wind’s grant program are USD 5,000 annual grants lasting up to five years to the Whale Alert Project, Center for Coastal Studies, and National Ocean Science Bowl/Blue Lobster Bowl.
Bay State Wind will also develop a Mitigation and Monitoring Advisory Panel that will include North Atlantic Right Whale specialists, acousticians and environmental representatives to help build a mitigation and monitoring plan.
Bay State Wind is a 50-50 partnership between Ørsted and Eversource, a New England-based electrical transmission company. Together, they are bidding to build an offshore wind farm some 25 miles south of New Bedford. The environmental research grants will be awarded upon Bay State Wind’s selection as a developer for the offshore wind farm.