Mayflower Wind continues to make progress in developing its offshore lease area with the launch of a geophysical site survey on April 25th. In addition, Mayflower Wind anticipates the launch of a geotechnical survey in early summer. The geophysical and geotechnical (G&G) surveys will be conducted through the fall and take place within Mayflower Wind’s lease area (OCS-A 0521) and potential export cable routes.
These surveys will continue the data acquisition work started in 2019, gathering information and evaluations for the project’s Construction and Operations Plan (COP). The plan, a requirement for federal permitting, will be implemented in coordination with stakeholders including regulatory agencies, mariners, Native American tribes, and port communities. A Local Notice to Mariners to the US Coast Guard and a Notice to Fleet Command to the US Navy have been issued for the geophysical survey. Separate notifications will be made in advance of the geotechnical survey.
The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) approved the G&G survey plan in April. Other required permits have been issued by federal and state agencies, including the National Marine Fisheries Service, US Army Corps of Engineers, Massachusetts Historic Commission, and Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources. Pre-survey meetings were coordinated with the Narragansett Tribe, Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, and Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah).
Protected Species Observers (PSOs) and Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) operators are on board to identify and appropriately manage any issues involving protected marine wildlife, especially marine mammals and sea turtles.
Safety is Mayflower Wind’s top priority. All survey activities are performed in accordance with federal and state health and safety policies and procedures. COVID-19 response plans have been incorporated into vessel operators’ emergency response plans. All personnel have “stop work” authority and are empowered to intervene in any unsafe situation.
Geophysical Survey Scope
The geophysical survey assesses the seafloor and near-surface sub-bottom. Data gathered from the survey activities will be used to characterize site conditions, including:
- Seafloor morphology;
- Subsurface geology;
- Environmental/biological sites;
- Seafloor obstructions;
- Soil conditions; and
- Location of any man-made, historical or archaeological resources.
Geophysical Survey Vessels
Fugro, a global leader in geo-data for energy and infrastructure industries, is conducting the geophysical survey utilizing two highly sophisticated vessels:
R/V Kommandor Iona
230 ft. vessel to survey the lease area and deep sections of the export cable routes
150 ft. vessel to survey the nearshore area and shallower sections of the export cable routes
Follow the Metocean Buoy Data
Follow the hourly data from Mayflower Wind’s floating metocean buoy on NERACOOS, the Northeastern Regional Association of Coastal Ocean Observing Systems. The buoy gathers meteorological and oceanographic data– including wave frequency and air pressure–which will help aid the final design of the wind farm.
BOEM approved the Site Assessment Plan for the metocean buoy in May.
Mayflower Wind, a 50/50 joint venture between Shell New Energies US LLC and EDPR Offshore North America LLC, is developing an offshore wind lease area with the potential to supply up to 1,600 megawatts of low-cost clean energy.