Delivering the benefits of clean energy to Falmouth
Falmouth is playing a major role in Massachusetts’ clean energy future as the land base for Mayflower Wind’s onshore electrical infrastructure and connection to the regional grid.
The Falmouth community’s participation in this important renewable energy project will increase town revenue, create local well-paid construction jobs, and provide support for local organizations and residents.
Construction of the underground cables and onshore substation in Falmouth will create job opportunities for a variety of qualified local contractors, in areas such as surveying, grading, aggregate and concrete, as well as civil and electrical engineering. Local retail and hospitality businesses will see increased activity for goods and services. We encourage interested contractors and suppliers to register with us.
A Host Community Agreement between Falmouth and Mayflower Wind will provide annual revenue to the Town once the project has been constructed. These payments, which can be used at the discretion of the town, may support locally-driven initiatives, such as coastal resiliency, broadband, energy efficiency, and other town-determined priorities.
Mayflower Wind will be an active supporter of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics programs (STEM), and renewable energy education programs for local students. We will also support local workforce training, in collaboration with existing vocational schools, community colleges and other area providers.
Mayflower Wind has also committed $5 million over 10 years to the Cape Light Compact JPE to help customers save money by lowering their energy use and reducing electric bills for low-income households.
These are just the beginning of the savings as the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources says electric customers will save more than $2 billion over the duration of the Mayflower Wind contract with Massachusetts’ electric utilities.
We hope to earn your trust through our commitments to safety, innovation, and community investment. We welcome you to connect with us.
Your input is valued during the regulatory review process
Mayflower Wind requires local, state, regional, and federal permits and approvals for its nearshore and onshore facilities and activities in Falmouth.
The regulatory review process provides numerous public meetings and comment periods where you can provide valuable input into the various aspects of the project.
Ways to get involved
We are in the process of reaching out to the Falmouth community and are committed to ensure all Falmouth residents can learn about our project, ask questions, and provide valuable input.
Getting from there to here
The Mayflower Wind project will be located over 30 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard and 20 miles south of Nantucket.
Submarine export cables buried beneath the seafloor will run north through Muskeget Channel and then west towards Vineyard Sound, before making landfall in Falmouth. From there, electric cables buried under roadways will connect power to an onshore substation in Falmouth.
Mayflower Wind has identified three potential locations for the subsea export cables to make landfall – two at Surf Drive Beach and the other at Falmouth Heights Beach. The cables will be installed under the beach and coastal ecosystem. Once ashore, the cables will continue underground, in nearly all cases under roadways, to a much further inland onshore substation at a location that is being determined.
The Surf Drive and Falmouth Heights beaches were selected after initial modeling confirmed the Upper Cape as an optimal point of interconnection into the regional electric grid.
Studies are being conducted to gather data and assess the suitability of these sites for a complete and reasoned analysis of the preferred and alternative routes. For example, shellfish and seagrass surveys were conducted in August 2020 by CR Environmental, a Falmouth based environmental survey firm. Geotechnical boring surveys are expected to be completed in early 2021.
A final decision on site location will be made after a full routing analysis has been completed. That decision will then be reviewed and require approval by state and local regulatory agencies.
How HDD will work
Following the guidance of the Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan, which protects critical marine habitat and important water-dependent uses and sets standards for ocean-based projects, Mayflower Wind will employ Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) to avoid impacts to sensitive environmental resources, including beaches and nearshore eelgrass beds.
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 beach.
Horizontal Directional Drilling (image courtesy of DEME Offshore US)
Cable Pull-In (image courtesy of DEME Offshore US)
A strong commitment to safety
Mayflower Wind draws from the deep experience and skills of its sponsor companies in safely constructing and operating energy generation and transmission facilities. Safety is our core value, and we are committed to treating our people, communities, and the environment with care.
Mayflower Wind uses a systematic approach to ensure compliance with legal requirements and industry standards and to achieve continuous health, safety, and environmental improvements by measuring, appraising, and reporting our performance.
While we will look at the safety of all aspects of the project, one topic of community interest is electro-magnetic fields (EMF). We hired an expert consultant, Gradient, to look at the potential EMF effects of the cable. They found that there are no safety risks and Mayflower’s electric cables will operate well below health guidelines.
Contact our community liaison
This page will be updated frequently so we encourage you to visit often and/or sign up for our email updates.
Frequently asked questions
How did Mayflower Wind decide the route for the export cables?
Route alternatives are currently being evaluated according to environmental, technical, and commercial factors, and will be presented in the project’s Construction and Operations Plan (COP). No final decisions on site locations for project facilities will be made until a full routing analysis has been completed. Baseline surveys are currently underway to gather data on-site and assess the suitability of alternative sites for a complete and reasoned analysis of the alternatives.
Where will the project make landfall?
Mayflower Wind is examining alternative landfall locations along Surf Drive and Falmouth Heights Beach in Falmouth. No final decisions on site locations for project facilities will be made until a full routing analysis has been completed. Baseline surveys are currently underway to gather data on-site and assess the suitability of alternative sites for a complete and reasoned analysis of the alternatives.
What studies have been conducted to determine whether the project can safely and reliably interconnect into the regional grid?
Mayflower Wind is progressing through the Independent System Operator- New England (ISO-NE) study process to determine how the project can safely and reliably interconnect into the New England transmission system. This includes conducting a Feasibility Study and System Impact Study, which are performed to ensure that system reliability criteria and standards for no adverse impact are met.
How will the project benefit Falmouth?
Falmouth will benefit from hosting a major clean energy infrastructure project through additional revenue, local construction jobs, and business activity. A Host Community Agreement is an essential tool for providing revenue to the Town with payments during operations. Payments may support local-driven initiatives, such as coastal resiliency, energy efficiency, and other priorities, as determined by the Town. Construction of the landfall, underground cabling, and onshore substation will create demand for a variety of qualified contractors and local retail businesses.
Mayflower Wind looks forward to being a long-term member of the Falmouth community and an active participant in activities such as local school STEM, renewable energy education programs, and workforce training.