SouthCoast Wind 1

With its proximity to offshore wind energy areas, maritime workforce, and port infrastructure, the SouthCoast region is well suited to grow an offshore wind industry cluster with well-paying jobs, and supply chain and economic development opportunities.

Our offshore wind lease area, which is located 30 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard and 20 miles south of Nantucket has the potential to generate more than 2,400 megawatts (MW) of clean renewable energy which is enough to power more than one million homes.

SouthCoast Wind will deliver the first 1,200 MW of energy via SouthCoast Wind 1, connecting to the New England regional electric grid at Brayton Point in Somerset, MA. We expect to deliver clean energy from SouthCoast Wind 1 by the end of the 2020s.

SouthCoast Wind is also looking at Brayton Point for interconnection of the second 1,200 MW of electricity generated in the lease area. Falmouth, MA continues to remain an option for this second phase while grid capacity and timing of necessary upgrades are determined.

SouthCoast Wind offshore lease area

Getting from there to here

The SouthCoast Wind lease area is located over 60 miles south of Rhode Island.

Submarine cable routing from the lease area to Brayton Point is still being determined and will be based upon ongoing surveys, studies, and the permitting process.

The proposed SouthCoast Wind Project 1 routing would extend northwest from the lease area, through federal and Rhode Island state waters, the Sakonnet River, with a buried intermediate underground crossing in Portsmouth, Rhode Island and then continuing through Mount Hope Bay, and ending at the Brayton Point grid connection in Somerset, Massachusetts.

Offshore to onshore connection

Offshore to Onshore Connection Infographic SouthCoast Wind SouthCoast Project

Wind Turbines (WTGs) – Wind turbines convert kinetic energy from the wind into electric power

Foundations – A substructure extends upwards from the seabed and connects the base of the tower, while a foundation transfers the loads acting on the structure into the seabed.

Inter-array Cables – Electrical cables connect wind turbines to each other and transport power to the offshore substation at 69 kilovolts (kV) alternating current.

Offshore HVDC Converter Substation – The offshore substation enables the wind farm to operate more efficiently by converting the voltage from 69 kV to +/- 320 kV direct current.

Offshore Export Cables – Electric power is transmitted from the offshore substation by electrical cables which will come ashore in Portsmouth.

Intermediate Landfall – The export cables connect onshore via an underground conduit tunneled deep beneath the beach.

Onshore Underground Export Cables – From the beach area, electric cables will be buried beneath roadways or shoulders, before making an exit into Mount Hope Bay.

Terminal Landfall – The export cables connect onshore via an underground landfall at Brayton Point.

Onshore HVDC Converter Substation – The onshore station transforms the power to grid voltage 345 kV alternating current.

Underground Interconnection Cables – A 345 kV underground cable transports the power to an existing substation station.

POI – The point of interconnection, or the point where SouthCoast Wind’s facilities interconnect with the Transmission Owner’s facilities.

Transmission System – An interconnected network of 345 and 115 kV transmission lines that deliver electricity to end customers.

Aquidneck Island Map

Onshore work

SouthCoast Wind has identified potential locations for the subsea export cables to make intermediate landfall and cross underneath Portsmouth, RI with minimal impact to the local community and natural resources.

Routing analysis for the onshore transmission infrastructure takes into consideration multiple factors, such as feasibility for construction, environmental resources, social impact, cultural resources, and other local concerns. The objective is to minimize impacts while aligning with safety and engineering considerations.

The cables will be installed via Horizontal Directional Drilling under the beach and coastal ecosystem before making landfall at Boyd’s Lane/Park Avenue. Once ashore, the cables will continue underneath public roadways, along three potential routes: northwest towards the Mount Hope Bridge, or northeast towards Anthony Road.

The routing is intended to avoid a narrow and highly constrained area of the Sakonnet River at the Old Stone Bridge and Sakonnet River Bridge.

After exiting beneath Portsmouth and traveling up Mount Hope Bay, there are two potential locations for the subsea export cables to make landfall at Brayton Point.

Again, using HDD, the cables will be installed underneath the Brayton Point property and connect to a new onshore high voltage direct current converter station on the site. The proposed converter station site would consist of approximately 8 acres.

A buried alternating current cable will exit and link to the nearby National Grid substation. Construction will be entirely within the previously disturbed, industrial site.

Studies are being conducted to gather data and assess the suitability of these sites for a complete and reasoned analysis of preferred and alternate routes.

A final decision on routing will be made after a full analysis has been completed. That decision will then be reviewed and require approval by state and local regulatory agencies.

Brayton Point Site Plan
Horizontal Directional Drilling

Sample Horizontal Directional Drilling (image courtesy of DEME Offshore US)

Cable Pull-In

Sample Cable Pull-In (image courtesy of DEME Offshore US)

Dig deeper. How horizontal directional drilling works

HDD is the preferred method for installing cable and pipe infrastructure in a manner that minimizes risks to natural resources, flooding, and erosion. Offshore, the proposed target burial depth is 6 ft below level seabed. The proposed range of acceptable burial depths is 3- 13 ft. When the cables transition to HDD burial at the approach to shore, cable burial depth will increase to approximately 40 feet below the seabed and below the ground. Permanent surface impacts will be minimal.

The intermediate Portsmouth crossing will use HDD at two locations, entering and exiting Aquidneck Island. The process begins with the creating of a bore hole to support the cable. It will be located well below the surface and will come up well distant of the shoreline.

After the bore hole is created, the cable will be pulled through and buried underneath the surface.  The cables will be installed in up to two cable bundles, each consisting of two power cables and one dedicated communications cable.

Converter Station

Converter Station

How HVDC conversion works

The project will use state-of-the-art HVDC technology that minimizes marine cabling, reduces energy losses, and strengthens the New England grid.

The onshore converter station at Brayton Point will be a specialized electrical substation designed to convert the HVDC power from the export cables to HVAC power to enable interconnection to the existing transmission infrastructure.

The converter station will contain equipment necessary to provide power quality conditioning to ensure that the proposed Project’s connection meets the technical requirements administered by the regional grid operator, ISO-NE.

Substation/converter station buildings are anticipated to be pre-engineered metal panel buildings or precast concrete buildings depending on thermal design requirements. A new underground 345-kV transmission line will be constructed entirely within the previously disturbed, industrial site. The underground transmission line will connect the converter station to the existing point of interconnection, the National Grid substation, at Brayton Point in Somerset, Massachusetts.

Alternative buildout

SouthCoast Wind is also looking at Brayton Point for interconnection of the second 1,200 MW of energy generated in the lease area. Through its state and federal permits, SouthCoast Wind is offering an engineering design variation known as the “alternative buildout” which provides flexibility for the future expansion of the electric system in the Brayton Point area to accommodate additional new renewable energy generation. Its design is intended to minimize impacts on the residents of Portsmouth, RI and Somerset, MA as well as the environment.

The alternative buildout design upgrade would facilitate the delivery of Project 2 (up to an additional 1,200 MW of renewable energy) by sizing the trench and conduits for the onshore underground transmission and associated communications cabling to accommodate all cabling in a single trench to minimize impacts to the community and environment.

Using this early preparation method means only one disturbance, minimizing impact to the natural and developed environment for trenching and horizontal directional drilling, rather than needing an additional disturbance when the second phase is developed. If the proposed alternative buildout is used, it will allow for the delivery of the full energy output of the lease area (an estimated 2,400 MW) to the regional transmission system and help meet Southern New England’s need for renewable clean energy in an efficient, cost effective and low impact way.

If SouthCoast Wind does need to use this additional infrastructure for additional export cables, SouthCoast Wind would return to Rhode Island and Massachusetts state agencies for licenses to do so.

A strong commitment to safety

While we will examine the safety of all aspects of the project, one topic of community interest is electro-magnetic fields (EMF). We hired expert consultants to study the potential EMF effects of the cable. They found that there are no safety risks and SouthCoast’s electric cables will operate well below established health guidelines. For more information and to view the reports, please see our Health and Safety page.

Benefits to the SouthCoast

Fall River Delegation

State Representatives Paul Schmid, Steven Howitt, and Alan Silvia; State Senator Michael Rodrigues; Michael Brown (SouthCoast Wind); State Representative Carole Fiola; Kelsey Perry (SouthCoast Wind)

Fall River port O&M rendering

Operations and Maintenance Port Rendering by Stull and Lee, Boston MA

SouthCoast Wind opened an office in downtown Fall River in September 2021. We will have regular office hours for interested individuals and groups to stop by, meet with staff and learn more about the project and opportunities with the company. See our events page or contact our community liaison for more details.

Investing in the ports and coastal infrastructure of Southeastern Massachusetts will build a firm foundation for the offshore wind industry. SouthCoast Wind is committed to locating port facility operations in areas that offer cost-effective returns for the project while supporting the SouthCoast’s long-term growth and development goals.

SouthCoast Wind’s operations & maintenance base will be a new landmark on the Fall River waterfront, providing an anchor for offshore wind related development. We intend to redevelop six acres of land to accommodate and support continuous 24/7 operations. Facilities will be equipped with a shoreside cargo crane for the lifting of large wind turbine components.

There will be several hundred permanent, high quality, long term jobs operating and maintaining the offshore wind farm – all based at the Fall River facility, a few with desks, some working in the warehouse, and the majority traveling out to the offshore wind lease area regularly, either on the Fall River based service operations vessel (SOVs), on which workers live on-board for weeks at a time, or the New Bedford based crew transfer vessels (CTVs) that will shuttle back and forth on a daily basis.

SouthCoast Wind has signed a lease agreement to utilize the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal as the primary staging and deployment base during the project’s construction.

CTV vessel rendering

Rendering of the SouthCoast Wind crew transfer vessel

Through our multi-party agreement with Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding/Duclos Corporation, an industry-leading, Jones Act compliant, hybrid battery diesel electric CTV will be designed and manufactured in Somerset, MA.

SouthCoast Open Air Market with Dugan and Kelsey at the SouthCoast Wind table

Dugan and Kelsey at the SouthCoast Wind table at the SouthCoast Open Air Market

SouthCoast Wind is also an active supporter of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics programs (STEM), and renewable energy education programs for local students. We support local workforce training, in collaboration with existing vocational schools, community colleges and other area providers.

SouthCoast investment

Braga Bridge

Braga Bridge

SouthCoast Wind is active on the SouthCoast. We are members of the One SouthCoast Chamber and support several educational institutions, training and fisheries programs.

SouthCoast Wind is committed to provide energy-saving, affordable, and quality housing to the SouthCoast community. Working with Buzzards Bay Habitat for Humanity, we aim to invest in 40 homes over the next decade that will deliver substantial energy savings and assist the area’s low-income residents.

We have pledged to have a diverse and inclusive workforce that includes developing programs to recruit, train, and retain as well as procurement/contracting opportunities for women, people of color, indigenous people, veterans, LGBT, and people living with disabilities.

US Sailing Youth Championships at Roger WilliamsWe are actively seeking opportunities to partner with local businesses on the SouthCoast. We encourage interested and suppliers to register with us.

Through partnerships with Bristol Community College/National Offshore Wind Institute and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, we will offer training to Massachusetts residents at every level of the offshore wind industry – from turbine installation, operation and maintenance, to project management – in order to equip tomorrow’s offshore wind workers, especially for the benefit of local communities. Our investments in entrepreneurial initiatives will spur new technologies, services, and businesses as part of a regional blue economy cluster.

Check out our Virtual Open House presentation on SouthCoast Economic Development Investments

Ways to get involved

We are reaching out to the SouthCoast and Rhode Island communities and are committed to ensure all Portsmouth and Somerset residents can learn about our project, ask questions, and provide valuable input.

Contact our community liaison

Dugan Becker

Dugan Becker is the project’s SouthCoast Community Liaison Officer. In this role, Dugan serves as the link between the community and SouthCoast Wind. He listens to residents and shares project updates and information to strengthen communication and collaboration.

If you have any questions about the information on this page, we encourage you to email Dugan or call 508-589-3557. We will provide a response within 48 hours of receipt.

This page will be updated frequently so we encourage you to visit often and/or sign up for our email updates.

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If your organization or community group is interested in SouthCoast Wind providing a presentation, please fill out our contact form or call 508-589-3557.

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