Massachusetts offshore wind developer Vineyard Wind has entered into a host community agreement (HCA) with the Town of Barnstable, Mass.
The agreement, which has been filed with the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board, requires Vineyard Wind to make annual payments to the town of at least $1.534 million each year in combined property taxes and host community payments. The pact guarantees a total host community payment of $16 million, plus an additional $60,000 (adjusted for inflation annually) for each year the project is in operation beyond 25 years.
The HCA also provides the opportunity for a detailed review of Vineyard Wind’s specifications for a new substation by the town, further ensuring protection of groundwater along with reliable delivery of clean energy to serve over 400,000 Massachusetts homes and businesses. Transformers and other electrical equipment at the substation will be underlain by full-volume, impervious containment systems. Transmission cables, which will not contain any fluids, will be sited under public roads or sidewalks connecting to an existing substation in an industrial park and requiring no changes to the existing electrical transmission system.
The agreement with Barnstable follows the award and execution of long-term contracts between Vineyard Wind and Massachusetts’ electric distribution companies to construct an 800 MW wind farm in federal waters south of Martha’s Vineyard and approximately 34 miles south of the Cape Cod mainland.
In addition to going through federal and state permitting reviews, Vineyard Wind is actively consulting with tribal and local agencies, including the conservation commission and planning boards of the towns of Barnstable and Yarmouth. The project will also be reviewed by the Cape Cod Commission. In total, the Vineyard Wind project will face public review and consultations by nearly 30 federal, tribal, state and local approval agencies.