Yarmouth Raises Concerns About Proposed Cable In Lewis Bay

YARMOUTH – As the proposal for an offshore wind farm just South of Martha’s Vineyard moves forward, there are new concerns being raised by the town of Yarmouth.

Vineyard Wind, the company hoping to build and own the turbines, will need a high voltage transmission cable to transport the electricity to a Barnstable substation.

The planned path of the cable includes a section that will go through Lewis bay in West Yarmouth.

Yarmouth Selectman Mark Forest is concerned about that location.

“Lewis Bay is a very complicated area. It’s a very sensitive eco-system. There are also sediment transport processes that are not fully understood,” he said.

The town was asked by Vineyard Wind to enter into an agreement which would, in part, spell out what monetary payments Yarmouth would receive if a portion of the cable was laid in the bay. That request has now been withdrawn due to residents expressing their environmental concerns.

Forest says that those worries are being brought to the attention of the state’s Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.

“The state’s in the middle of the process of collecting comments of state and local agencies on what their concerns are in respect to the project. The board of selectmen wanted to make sure that we got our concerns in,” he said.

Studies regarding the cable’s impact on different aspects of the bay, including boating, shell fishing and its overall well being, are being requested at Vineyard Wind’s expense. The town has also asked the state to make it mandatory that the company take many safety precautions which include reporting all used materials and having a habitat restoration plan.

Although the talks between the company and Yarmouth have stopped for the moment, they are likely to resume.

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