MMT Surveying Beacon Wind Offshore Wind Farm

BOEM Clears BP to Test Suction Bucket Foundations at Beacon Wind Project Site

The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has approved the testing of suction bucket jacket foundations at the Beacon Wind offshore wind lease area, owned by BP, which filed an application to perform the tests last year together with its then-joint venture partner Equinor.

In March 2023, the Beacon Wind joint venture submitted a request for an amendment to the Site Assessment Plan (SAP) to include the suction bucket tests as additional activities since these were not included in the SAP and its amendments previously approved by BOEM.

The activities include 35 deployments and removals of a single suction bucket foundation at 26 locations within the lease area to gather engineering information to inform Beacon Wind’s foundation design for wind turbines and offshore substations.

On 2 February 2024, BOEM published a draft environmental impact statement (EA) for the proposed additional site assessment activities and initiated a 30-day public comment period.

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Now, BOEM has issued a final environmental assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) stating the suction bucket foundation tests would not significantly impact the environment.

This suction bucket jacket foundation, which allows for the installation without the need for pile driving, is tested as one of the possible foundation designs the project could use for its wind turbines and/or substations.

BP has already performed suction bucket testing in the UK, where the company is developing offshore wind projects in partnership with EnBW.

BOEM started the permitting process for the Beacon Wind projects’ Construction and Operation Plan (COP) in June 2023.

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The Beacon Wind lease area, located offshore Massachusetts, more than 97 kilometres (60 miles) east of Montauk Point and 32 kilometres (20 miles) south of Nantucket, is being developed in two phases.

This first phase, the 1,230 MW Beacon Wind 1, is currently under development and is planned to connect to the grid in Queens, New York. Beacon Wind 1 already has a 25-year offtake agreement in place with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

The 1,200 MW Beacon Wind 2 will be developed at a later date and could be connected to the grid either in Waterford, Connecticut, or Queens, New York.

The lease area was secured by Equinor, which in 2021 saw BP joining as a partner. Now, the two companies have restructured the ownership in their joint US offshore wind projects and BP took full ownership of the Beacon Wind 1 and 2 offshore wind farms after the transaction closed on 4 April 2024. As of 4 April, Equinor owns a 100 per cent stake in the Empire Wind 1 and projects.


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