BOEM Completes Draft EA of Gulf of Maine Offshore Wind Area


The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has made available its draft Environmental Assessment (EA) of the Wind Energy Area (WEA) located in the U.S. Gulf of Maine.

Analyzing the potential issuance of commercial wind energy leases offshore Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, the draft EA considers the potential impacts associated with activities such as surveys and installation of meteorological buoys. 

The analysis does not cover installation of offshore turbines, subject to a separate environmental review if a project proposal is submitted by a leaseholder.  

“As we move forward with our renewable energy process to consider proposed offshore wind activities in the Gulf of Maine, BOEM will continue to engage with Tribes, other governmental agencies, ocean users, local communities and others,” says BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein. 

“Our primary objective is to ensure that any future offshore wind development is done in a way that avoids or minimizes potential impacts on other ocean activities and the marine environment.”

In April, the Department of the Interior announced a proposed offshore wind energy lease sale in the Gulf of Maine, which would include eight potential leasing areas within the WEA offshore Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The eight areas total nearly one million acres and have the potential to generate approximately 15 GW. 

BOEM partnered with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science to develop a planning model that assisted in the selection of the proposed lease areas.

The notice of availability of the draft EA announces the start of the public review and comment period that ends on July 22.  

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