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The U.S. Department of the Interior's (DOI) Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has scheduled public seminars in Rhode Island and Virginia to explain how offshore wind power developers can participate in upcoming auctions for renewable energy development in federal waters offshore Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Virginia.

The lease sales will be held later this year and are the first-ever competitive auctions for renewable energy development on the Outer Continental Shelf.

The public seminars will introduce potential bidders and other stakeholders to the proposed auction formats, explain auction rules and demonstrate the auction process through meaningful examples, BOEM explains, adding that there will also be an opportunity for comments and questions regarding the proposed sale notices for each of the scheduled auctions.

The dates and locations for the public seminars are as follows:

Rhode Island/Massachusetts
Jan. 15, 12:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Corless Auditorium, University of Rhode Island, Bay Campus
215 South Ferry Road, Narragansett, R.I.

Virginia

Jan. 17, 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Perimeter Center, Board Room 4
9960 Mayland Drive, Richmond, Va.

Last year, the DOI and BOEM announced the availability of proposed sale notices for commercial wind leasing in two wind energy areas in federal waters - one offshore Rhode Island and Massachusetts, and the other offshore Virginia.

The proposed lease area offshore Rhode Island and Massachusetts covers approximately 164,750 acres and is located about 9.2 nautical miles south of the Rhode Island coastline. The area will be auctioned as two leases, referred to as the North Zone and the South Zone.

The North Zone lease will consist of about 97,500 acres and has the capacity to support more than 1 GW of wind energy generation. The South Zone lease will consist of about 67,250 acres and is capable of supporting a project between 350 MW and 1 GW.

The proposed lease area offshore Virginia, which will be auctioned as a single lease, totals approximately 112,800 acres about 23.5 nautical miles offshore southern Virginia. It is expected to support more than 2 GW of wind energy generation.

BOEM expects to publish the final sale notices and conduct the auctions later this year. More information on the public seminar is available here.



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