Offshore Wind - SouthCoast Wind (formerly Mayflower Wind)
Mayflower Wind is a private company that secured a lease from the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to install wind turbines in federal waters 30 miles south of Martha's Vineyard. Mayflower reports the lease area has the potential to generate over 2,400 megawatts of electricity which is enough to power approximately 800,000 homes. Mayflower is proposing to install undersea electric cables that would make landfall in two locations: Brayton Point in Somerset, Massachusetts and Falmouth. Mayflower Wind has identified two potential locations to install a high voltage electric cable underneath Falmouth Heights Beach: Worcester Court and Central Park. The cable would be installed deep below the seabed using a method known as Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) to tunnel beneath the beach. Mayflower Wind represents that the only structures that will be visible near the beach when construction is complete is a manhole cover. The proposed underground electric cable would extend from Falmouth Heights Beach to a new substation which is proposed to be located at either the Lawrence Lynch site at 396 Gifford Street or the Cape Cod Aggregates site at 486 Thomas B Landers Road.
Local, state, regional and federal permits and approvals are required for onshore and offshore construction including:
- Federal Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management
- Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act
- Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB) - for further information visit
- Falmouth Conservation Commission
- Town Meeting Easements and Article 97 Relief
- Select Board Grant of Locations
Can Mayflower Wind install the proposed electric cable and substation in Falmouth without Town approval?
- Memo from Falmouth Town Counsel addressing this question.
Select Board Public Forum - June 8, 2022:
A video of this public forum and the written comments received by the Select Board for this hearing can be viewed via the links below.
- Select Board Presentation 06-08-2022
- Mayflower Wind Presentation
- Public Comments Received by the Select Board as of June 8, 2022
- Public Forum - FCTV video
- SouthCoast Wind (formerly Mayflower Wind) Responses to Questions Raised at Falmouth Public Forum 06/08/2022
Select Board Role:
The Select Board is in the process of evaluating the Mayflower Wind proposal to install the proposed underground electric cable and associated substation in Falmouth and has not yet taken a position to support or oppose the project. In June of 2022, Mayflower announced that it will be making substantial changes to the proposed electrical equipment it proposes to install in Falmouth. The changes were overviewed at the public forum on June 8, 2022. To date, Mayflower has not formally updated the plans filed with the Department of Public Utilities. The Select Board has directed Town staff members to work with legal counsel and a consulting engineer, selected by the Town, to evaluate the impact of the proposed project within Town borders. Town staff have an ongoing dialog with Mayflower Wind representatives to understand and evaluate the proposal. The Town is evaluating the proposed landfall locations and the substation locations among other issues. Staff are providing periodic updates to the Select Board in public sessions. Staff also meet periodically with the Select Board in executive sessions to discuss strategy with respect to potential regulatory litigation before the MA Energy Facilities Siting Board and the value of the easements that Mayflower Wind must receive from Falmouth Town Meeting . Part of the process for determining whether the Select Board will support the project is to prepare and negotiate a host community agreement with Mayflower Wind. Such an agreement would address requirements for mitigating construction impacts on the community. For example, a host community agreement could potentially include:
- Limits on the months of the year, and time of day that construction can take place;
- Mitigation measures to control noise, dust, and erosion;
- Traffic control plans;
- Road reconstruction standards;
- Water and Sewer utility replacement standards;
- Provision for temporary Water and Sewer lines to avoid service disruption;
- Compensation to the Town to mitigate project impacts and for the value of the easements
Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB) Review:
- UPDATE December 9, 2022: Mayflower Wind has filed the following update on the status of its filing before the EFSB – Mayflower letter to EFSB 12/09/2022.
- UPDATE July 29, 2022: Mayflower Wind has filed a motion to temporarily suspend its EFSB petition for landfall in Falmouth. This administrative motion is to reflect a change to HVDC transmission cables and to include analysis on alternate landfalls at the request of the Town administration. While a timeline to resume proceedings is not known at this time, Mayflower has communicated that they expect to resume the process in the coming months.
- To view documents filed with the EFSB by Mayflower Wind and the public, visit the Department of Public Utilities Docket website EFSB21-03.
- The Massachusetts EFSB has a public information webpage with comprehensive information. This page can be found at https://www.mass.gov/info-details/mayflower-wind-1.
Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) Review:
- The Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs has determined the Mayflower Wind project will require the submission of an Environmental Impact Report. The following documents can be downloaded from the MA Energy and Environmental Affairs website. This state website will be updated with additional documents as the MEPA review continues.
Reports and Information:
The Town of Falmouth selected and retained a consulting engineer to review and advise on certain technical aspects of the Mayflower Wind projects proposed within Falmouth. Below are the draft reports received by the Town regarding EMF, noise and visual impacts.
- Draft Summary of Current Status of Research on Health Effects of Electric and Magnetic Fields (EMF), Exponent, Inc - 03/18/2022
- Draft Analysis of EMF for Proposed Project in Falmouth, Exponent, Inc. - 01/27/2022
- Draft Noise Assessment, Exponent Inc - 03/29/2022
- Draft Visual Impact Analysis, Exponent, Inc - 03/022/2022
- Mayflower Wind Alternative Landfall Analysis - 10/17/2022