The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is initiating the environmental review of the proposed 2.43 GW Beacon Wind project off the shores of Massachusetts, publishing a notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement for the project’s construction and operations plan.
“BOEM is advancing the administration’s ambitious energy goals while remaining diligent in our efforts to avoid, minimize and mitigate impacts to ocean users and the marine environment,” says BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein. “As part of our environmental review process, we seek input from our government partners, the fishing community and other ocean users to inform our next steps.”
The lease area is approximately 17 nautical miles (nm) south of Nantucket, Mass., and approximately 52 nm east of Montauk, N.Y. If approved, the development and construction phases of the Beacon Wind project could support up to an estimated 6,491 jobs.
Highlights from Beacon Wind’s proposal:
- Construction and operation of two wind energy facilities (Beacon Wind 1 and Beacon Wind 2) offshore Massachusetts, with a total capacity of at least 2.43 GW, which could power over 850,000 homes each year;
- Installation of up to 155 turbines, up to two offshore substation platforms and up to two offshore export cables, which are planned to make landfall in Astoria, N.Y., and Waterford, Conn.
The publication of the notice of intent will open a 30-day public comment period. During that period, BOEM will hold two virtual and two in-person public meetings for the Beacon Wind EIS. Registration for the virtual public meetings and detailed information about the proposed wind energy project, including how to comment, can be found on BOEM’s website.
The public comment period for the NOI will help identify what BOEM may consider as part of its environmental review of Beacon Wind’s COP. Throughout the scoping process, multiple opportunities exist to help BOEM determine the important resources and issues, impact-producing factors, reasonable alternatives and potential mitigating measures that should be analyzed in the EIS.
Following the comment period, BOEM will review the comments to identify issues and potential alternatives for consideration in the Beacon Wind draft EIS.