The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is conducting what it calls a high-level assessment of all waters off the U.S.’ Atlantic Coast for potential future offshore wind lease locations.
BOEM is seeking the public’s input on the “Proposed Path Forward for Future Offshore Renewable Energy Leasing on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf” through a request for feedback that will be published in the Federal Register on April 6.
“The outlook for offshore wind is bright, and today, we are taking the next step to ensure a domestic offshore wind industry,” comments Vincent DeVito, the DOI’s counselor for energy policy.
To help assess which geographic areas along the Atlantic are the most likely to have the highest potential for successful offshore wind development, BOEM is considering multiple factors, highlighted below:
Factors that make an area more likely to be excluded
1. Areas prohibited by the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act for leasing.
2. Department of Defense conflict areas.
3. Charted marine vessel traffic routes.
Factors that make an area more attractive for future leasing
4. Areas not previously removed.
5. Areas greater than 10 nautical miles from shore.
6. Areas shallower than 60 meters in depth.
7. Areas adjacent to states with offshore wind economic incentives.
8. Areas adjacent to states with an interest in identifying additional lease areas.
9. Areas where industry has expressed interest.
BOEM is seeking input on all aspects of its proposed path forward but, particularly, the merits of these factors and whether there are other factors that should be considered at this preliminary stage. Explanations of these factors and sample maps can be found here.
Stakeholders can submit comments electronically or postmarked no later than May 21. More information can be found here.