The First Vineyard Wind Turbine Rises Off Nantucket

Jason Graziadei •

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The first Vineyard Wind turbine 15 miles off Nantucket. Photo by Charity Grace Mofsen

The first of Vineyard Wind's 62 turbines has been assembled in the waters southwest of Nantucket.

These photos were taken today from Madaket Beach with 400mm and 600mm camera lenses, and the images are cropped to show the view of the turbine in the distance. This turbine will be one of the closest to Nantucket in Vineyard Wind's lease area. While they will certainly be visible, Vineyard Wind's turbines won't appear this large to the naked eye.

The turbine components left the port of New Bedford in early September, squeezing through the city's hurricane barrier behind a tugboat, and heading out to sea. The assembly was delayed due to weather conditions over the past month.

At the tip of its blade, the GE Haliade-X turbine reaches 837 feet in the air, nearly as tall as the Eiffel Tower.

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Photo by Peter Sutters
Photo by Charity Grace Mofsen
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Photo by Peter Sutters
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Photo by Charity Grace Mofsen

Over the course of 2023, the company has been conducting geotechnical surveys and laying cable for the project, and recently completed a substation and installed some of the monopiles the turbins will be fixed to. The company, which is backed by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) and Avangrid Renewables, LLC, believes it will generate 800 megawatts of electricity annually and power over 400,000 homes.

Vineyard Wind is on pace to become the country's first large-scale offshore wind farm. The project, which will include 62 turbines spaced one nautical mile apart, is now under construction in federal waters approximately 15 miles southwest of Nantucket.

Two years ago, the town of Nantucket negotiated to receive $16 million in restitution for the potential historical, cultural, and economic impacts of Vineyard Wind’s offshore wind farm through a so-called "Good Neighbor Agreement." Cultural Heritage Partners (CHP), the law firm hired by the town to negotiate on offshore wind projects, secured this remediation as part of a lengthy dialogue with Vineyard Wind.

The agreement, which was also signed by the Maria Mitchell Association and the Nantucket Preservation Trust, essentially binds the town and those organizations to support - and not criticize - the Vineyard Wind project.

Late last month, a group of Nantucket residents appealed the dismissal of a lawsuit aimed at stopping the Vineyard Wind wind project in federal court. The group ACK For Whales - formerly known as Nantucket Residents Against Turbines - filed the appeal with the First Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals and is seeking to overturn the May 2023 decision of U.S. District Court judge Indira Talwani, who dismissed the original complaint.

ACK For Whales believes that the federal agencies involved in permitting the Vineyard Wind project - including the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the National Marine Fisheries Service - failed to properly consider the impacts Vineyard Wind could have on endangered North Atlantic right whales.

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