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Offshore wind farm development to include underground cables

March 16, 2020 GMT

FALMOUTH , Mass. (AP) — Developers presented plans Monday for an offshore wind farm in Massachusetts to include underground cables.

The joint venture between Shell and EDP Renewables to develop a 804-megawatt wind farm in Falmouth was presented to the Board of Selectman, Cape Cod Times reported.

Plans for the Mayflower Wind project show the energy generated from the wind turbines will travel through underground cables to an offshore substation on the Atlantic Coast Outer Continental Shelf to another substation onshore.

The onshore substation will be set in Falmouth because of the necessary path of the transmission route, according to Christopher Hardy, external outreach manager for Mayflower Wind.

“There would be three cables making their way from the wind farm, 26 nautical miles off the coast of Nantucket,” Hardy said. “The cable route would go through Nantucket Sound all the way into Falmouth, making landfall onshore.”

John Harnett, who is overseeing the project, said that from there the power will travel through overhead lines to an interconnection switching station and then to a transmission system in Bourne, where the energy will interconnect with the electric grid.

It is still unclear where the landing spot in Falmouth will be located.

The project is one of two selected by the Commonwealth under a state procurement legislation after it won the rights to develop a lease area that can support up to 1,600 megawatts of offshore wind in 2018.

The development of the project will help the state continue on its way to meeting the goal set by Gov. Charlie Baker’s Energy Diversity Act of 2016.

The act requires that electric distribution companies purchase 1,600 megawatts of power from offshore renewables by 2027, along with 1,200 megawatts of clean power. The project is expected to create 10,000 jobs in the region as well as eliminate 1.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.