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Feds reveal Outer Cape locations for offshore wind

This map shows proposed lease areas for offshore wind in the Gulf of Maine.
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
This map shows proposed lease areas for offshore wind in the Gulf of Maine.

Locations for offshore wind development have been selected off the Outer Cape.

The Biden administration this week published the location of eight areas proposed for lease in the Gulf of Maine, a body of water that runs from Cape Cod to Nova Scotia.

Wind energy developers will have the opportunity to bid on the leases in a future auction.

Six of the areas lie off the coast of Massachusetts and two off New Hampshire and Maine.

The closest to Cape Cod starts 25 miles off the Outer Cape. For comparison, that distance is about the same as the distance from Hyannis to Nantucket Harbor.

Unlike the location where Vineyard Wind 1 is under construction south of Martha’s Vineyard, the deeper waters off the Outer Cape are expected to require floating turbines anchored to the seabed.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said that in selecting new locations, it prioritized avoiding fishing grounds and transit lanes.

The wind areas total nearly 1 million acres. BOEM said the areas have the potential to generate about 15 gigawatts of renewable energy and power more than 5 million homes.

Public meetings have been scheduled in May and June; the first is a Zoom meeting May 23, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Some meetings are designed to cover specific topics, such as commercial fishing, recreational fishing, shipping, and environmental concerns.

The public comment period runs through July 1.

Jennette Barnes is a reporter and producer. Named a Master Reporter by the New England Society of News Editors, she brings more than 20 years of news experience to CAI.