CALL TO ACTION: Select Board to VOTE Monday, 10/5/20 – Heights Beach to be studied for an underground cable transfer from an 804-megawatt wind farm located more than 20 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard to an inland substation.

SELECT BOARD AGENDA MONDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2020 – to VOTE
See the full Agenda and Zoom instructions to participate in “real time comments

To comment prior to the meeting, email the Select Board at selectboard@falmouthma.gov before 9:00 AM Monday.

7:45 p.m. BUSINESS
#5. Presentation, discussion and vote – Mayflower Wind access agreement for 565 Blacksmith Shop Road, 0 Surf Drive and 0 Grand Avenue www.mayflowerwind.com.

FHMNA POSITION:

The FHMNA President, with Board approval, will submit a letter to the Select Board expressing our disappointment in not being kept specifically apprised of the details of the Mayflower Wind’s intention to bring high voltage electric cables ashore in Falmouth at the Heights Beach or Surf Drive Beaches and furthermore request that the Select Board postpone any vote on this matter until such time that the public and the communities which will be directly impacted by this project have the opportunity to review the project in detail and express their comments or concerns.

EXCERPTS FROM CAPE COD TIMES online, 10/2/20: “Wind Energy Project Up for Discussion in Falmouth

Mayflower Wind recently got approval from the Falmouth Conservation Commission to conduct geotechnical boring investigations at two beach parking lots to eventually install underground cables for their planned 804-megawatt wind farm located more than 20 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard.

[They] want to put the substation in Falmouth and connect the cables to it.

The 100-foot-deep boring tests will be done in the parking lots of Surf Drive and Falmouth Heights beaches and will gather data on the soil conditions of those locations. [FHMNA Ed: also at the end of Shore Street and end of Worcester Avenue]

If the Falmouth Select Board grants permission, they will conduct the tests as soon as possible [and] take no more than a few days. Mayflower Wind will then repair the bore holes.

If the soil is the proper condition at the Surf Drive and Falmouth Heights areas, an underground cable from Nantucket Sound will extend from a conduit built in the parking lot behind the beach and from there, underground cables would go up to an onshore substation farther inland [FHMNA Ed: we assume up Worcester Ave/Court].

Some Falmouth residents have expressed concerns about the project, particularly concerning the danger of high-voltage cables beneath people’s feet.

SOME MORE DETAILS:

The Mayflower lease area was described as 80-100 wind turbines spaced by 1×1 nautical mile grid with an offshore substation and onshore substation along with interconnection switching station including underwater transmission line to land with underground and above ground transition line to Bourne, then into the electric grid. The insertion point is Bourne because the Falmouth substation is more a local part of the grid. A landing spot in Falmouth was not identified during the March 2020 presentation.

On September 16, 2020, Mayflower Wind Energy LLC, 0 Surf Drive parcel ID #47 07 000A 000 and 0 Grand Avenue parcel ID #46B 09 000Q 000, Falmouth, MA was approved by the Conservation Commission to conduct limited, localized geotechnical boring investigations for the purpose of supporting the planning and design of a proposed Horizontal Directional Drilling landing of a submarine export cable in Falmouth.

From Surf Drive or Falmouth Heights, an underground cable from Nantucket Sound will extend from a conduit built in the parking lot behind the beach and, from there, up to an onshore substation farther inland. Ultimately it will be connected to the overall electrical grid.

SOURCE MATERIAL including SELECT BOARD & CON COM information:

BOARD OF SELECTMEN AGENDA, MONDAY, MARCH 9, 2020
7:45 p.m. BUSINESS 1. Presentation – Mayflower Wind Energy, LLC – Christopher Hardy, External Outreach Manager

MINUTES:
Presentation – Mayflower Wind Energy, LLC – Christopher Hardy, External Outreach Manager, John Hartnet, Seth Kaplan, John Hartnet, President Mayflower, made a PowerPoint presentation. Tonight they wanted to introduce themselves to the Town and area excited about the project they are putting forward. Mayflower is joint venture between Shell and EDP renewable. Their project is off the south coast, a number of lease areas held, explained the areas and who they are held by. The Mayflower lease area was described, 800 megawatt long term award with MA, includes underwater transmission line to land in Falmouth area with in ground and above ground transition line to Bourne, then into the electric grid. Reviewed the project schematic, 80-100 wind turbines spaced by 1×1 nautical mile grid to provide transit lanes for commercial vessels to transverse. Off shore substation and onshore substation along with interconnection switching station. Permitting process described, contracts awarded last year, now going through Department of Public Utilities permitting process. They will have local engagement headed up by Christopher. Community Commitments, involved with commercial fishermen, regional research, monitoring fisheries, outreach with commercial fishing communities and local academic institutions. Theirs is the only project that would be landing in Falmouth. Many solar projects are interconnected at the distribution system. www.mayflowerwind.com has info about the project with continuous updates. The insertion point is Bourne because the Falmouth substation is more a local part of the grid, the switching on JBCC is a wholesale. Landing spot in Falmouth has not been identified.

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CONSERVATION COMMISSION AGENDA, Wednesday, September 16, 2020
Mayflower Wind Energy LLC, 0 Surf Drive parcel ID #47 07 000A 000 and 0 Grand Avenue parcel ID #46B 09 000Q 000, Falmouth, MA – For permission to conduct limited, localized geotechnical boring investigations for the purpose of supporting the planning and design of a proposed Horizontal Directional Drilling landing of a submarine export cable in Falmouth. APPROVED For Tests on Surf Drive & Falmouth Heights. NO MINUTES AVAILABLE.

Application: “On behalf of Mayflower Wind Energy LLC, enclosed for filing please find a Request for Determination of Applicability and related documents in connection with the above-referenced properties.
Request for Determination of Applicability
0 Surf Drive (Parcel ID #47 07 000A 000) and
0 Grand Ave (Parcel ID #46B 09 000Q 000)”

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Enterprise: “Falmouth Conservation Commission Approves Testing For Undersea Cables”, Sep 25, 2020 (online 9/25/20; printed 10/2/20 page 6)

“An offshore wind farm project located 26 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard will be testing two possible sites in Falmouth to bring the energy to shore. The company is eyeing Surf Drive and Falmouth Heights beaches. If Falmouth becomes the landing spot, the underwater cables would connect the turbines to an offshore substation that will connect to an onshore one in Falmouth. The location of this substation has not been determined. This onshore substation will feed into a transmission station at Joint Base Cape Cod in Bourne. The 804-megawatt project from Cambridge-based Mayflower Wind is located on the Atlantic Coast Outer Continental Shelf. When the testing will occur is not known yet. The project requires federal, state and local approvals, including from the US Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, US Coast Guard, Federal Aviation Administration, both the US and Massachusetts Environmental Protection agencies, and the Energy Facilities Siting Board.”