Environment & Sustainability
We seek to minimize Beacon Wind’s impact on the environment by collaborating with conservation and preservation groups, fisheries, front-line and tribal communities, and others. We are committed to best practices to mitigate environmental and social impacts from the development of renewable energy in the Beacon Wind lease area. We believe in the cooperative coexistence of offshore wind development with wildlife.
Beacon Wind is conducting numerous environmental studies to learn how to best coexist with marine life and birds in the lease area. We are committed to sharing our data with all stakeholders and the public.Photos from Our Digital Aerial Survey
The offshore wind industry adheres to stringent marine mammal mitigation measures – stronger regulation than any other marine industry in the Atlantic.
There is no construction occurring yet in the Beacon Wind lease area.
When survey work is conducted, the following measures are taken by the offshore wind industry to protect marine mammals:
- During High Resolution Geophysical (HRG) surveys, geophysical survey equipment must be shut down when marine mammals are observed approaching or within “Exclusion Zones” ~1,600 ft or over 500 yards (500 m) for North Atlantic right whales, ~300 ft or 100 yards (100 m) for all other species).
- During HRG surveys, independent and NMFS-approved Protected Species Officers (PSOs) on duty to enforce Exclusion Zones, document all marine mammal observations, and report to NMFS on marine mammal observations and mitigation actions taken.
- For all survey work, vessel speeds reduced to 10 knots or less when mother/calf pairs, pods, or large assemblages of whales/dolphins observed near the vessel.
- For all survey work, vessels must maintain a minimum separation distance of ~1,600 ft or over 500 yards (500 m) from North Atlantic right whales and ~300 ft or 100 yards (100 m) from all other whale species.
- When marine mammals are observed while a vessel is underway, the vessel must attempt to remain parallel to the animal’s course, avoid excessive speed or abrupt changes in direction until the animal has left the area. If marine mammals are sighted within the relevant separation distance, the vessel must reduce speed and shift the engine to neutral, not engaging the engines until animals are clear of the area.
Responsibly developing offshore wind and mitigating the potential impacts to marine life takes collaboration. That’s why we’re partnering with other offshore wind developers, on a Highly Migratory Species study being led by the New England Aquarium and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.
This multi-year marine life tagging program is designed to track key highly migratory fish species off the shores of the Northeast, including in the Beacon Wind lease area, and develop a sophisticated understanding of how plans for the expansion of offshore wind can work in harmony with species that have called our area home for centuries