US offshore wind developer Bay State Wind has revised a turbine layout pattern on a New England offshore wind farm in response to feedback from fishermen and community members.
The change will accommodate historical fishing patterns, and help to provide greater ease of fishing within, and transiting through, the wind farm, Bay State Wind, a partnership between Ørsted and Eversource, New England’s electric transmission company, said.
Bay State Wind’s Engineering and Layouts team incorporated as many suggestions as possible from fishermen and local stakeholders, while keeping in mind the need to balance safe navigation, fishing concerns and clean energy production, the developer said.
“We are committed to being strong partners with New England’s fishing industry and our neighbors in local communities,” said Thomas Brostrøm, President of Ørsted North America.
“As we continue to design sustainable energy for the state, we have taken steps to make the layout of wind turbines more fishing friendly while maintaining energy optimization. We will continue to work with agencies, stakeholders, and other developers towards a clean energy future.”
The new plan realigns the wind turbine layout so that the turbines are located in rows running East-to West, the preferred orientation for fishing. The updated layout also includes an average of one nautical mile between turbine rows to create distinct fishing corridors while continuing to optimize wind utilization and energy production.
Feedback from the local fishing community indicated that the irregular pattern of the previous plan could make fishing in and transiting through the wind farm area difficult, especially in bad weather or while towing or setting gear.
“With local roots that go back more than 100 years, we’re proud to serve New England and understand the importance of the fishing industry to ports in the region,” said Mike Auseré, Vice President of Business Development at Eversource. “We’re happy to collaborate with a company like Ørsted that shares our commitment to being responsive to the needs of local communities.”
Bay State Wind wind farm is located 25 miles off the Massachusetts South Coast, and 15 miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard.
The partners plan to submit a construction and operations plan to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) in early 2019, which will include the updated turbine layout.