Advancing Offshore Wind Responsibly
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) oversees responsible renewable energy development on the Outer Continental Shelf of the U.S.
Give input on offshore wind topics at the Federal and State level.
History of Offshore Wind and BOEM's Role in Permitting
Wildlife Research and Monitoring
MassCEC is proud to co-sponsor and manage a variety of studies on marine wildlife focused on gathering baseline data to inform the federal permitting process and accelerate the responsible siting of offshore wind projects. Check out some of our more recent studies in more detail below:
Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Surveys – Aerial surveys, acoustic monitoring and oceanographic surveys led by the New England Aquarium to document the presence of endangered marine mammals and sea turtles in the region of the Massachusetts and Rhode Island offshore wind energy areas. The surveys are funded by MassCEC, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and, beginning in 2020, offshore wind developers.
Related Wildlife Analyses – Independent analyses and stakeholder processes to synthesize results from ongoing survey activity and establish frameworks and priorities for ongoing monitoring of wildlife and offshore wind.
Seabird Surveys – Aerial surveys led by the College of Staten Island to quantify the distribution and abundance of seabirds in the region of the Massachusetts and Rhode Island offshore wind energy areas. The surveys were funded by MassCEC and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.
Regional Wildlife Science Collaborative for Offshore Wind - RWSC's Steering Committee, along with government agencies, offshore wind companies, environmental non-profits and others, developed an Integrated Science Plan for Offshore Wind, Wildlife, and Habitat in U.S. Atlantic Waters. The Science Plan will inform future data collection and research.
Commercial Fishing and Offshore Wind
MassCEC, in partnership with the State of Rhode Island and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), supports regional fisheries studies that collect data vital to the ongoing development of the offshore wind industry in North America. The first-in-the-nation studies conduct important research on recreational and commercial fisheries, seabed habitat, and comparable offshore wind policies in Europe. View here to read more and view the most recent progress reports for these studies.
Wind and Ocean Resource Data
MassCEC is partnering with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and AWS Truepower to collect hub height wind speed and other metocean data near federal offshore wind energy areas using a WindCube LIDAR installed on a WHOI-owned platform located one mile south of Martha’s Vineyard. The first full year of data collection was completed in October 2017 and a second year of data collection is currently underway. Data and analysis products are available on MassCEC’s Metocean Data page.
In 2014, MassCEC commissioned a report to analyze the transmission infrastructure necessary to interconnect future Massachusetts offshore wind projects to the regional electric grid. The report identified routes and interconnection locations where offshore wind energy can be connected to the ISO-NE grid.
Interagency Offshore Wind Council (IOWC)
On April 20, 2023, EEA Secretary Rebecca Tepper announced the establishment of the Interagency Offshore Wind Council to advance the responsible development of offshore wind and meet the Commonwealth’s ambitious climate goals through greater interagency collaboration. By formalizing and elevating the effort to grow the offshore wind industry in Massachusetts, the new Interagency Offshore Wind Council will advance communication, alignment, collaboration, and joint execution.
Chaired by Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA), the Council includes representatives from the following agencies and divisions:
- Department of Energy Resources (DOER)
- Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC)
- Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM)
- Department of Fish and Game, Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF)
- Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife)
- Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
- Department of Public Utilities (DPU)
- Executive Office of Economic Development (EOED)
- Executive Office of Labor & Workforce Development (EOLWD)
- Executive Office of Education (EOE)