The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) says it is reducing the area under consideration for future commercial wind energy leasing on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) offshore Massachusetts.
The reduction comes after multiple comments were received in response to a request for interest (RFI) issued in December 2010. The RFI invited the public to provide information useful to BOEMRE in evaluating the suitability of the identified area for potential future leasing.
The RFI also asked that wind energy developers describe their interest in acquiring commercial leases for potential future projects. BOEMRE also held a joint meeting with the Rhode Island and Massachusetts Renewable Energy Task Forces this week to discuss activities around their area of mutual interest.
BOEMRE has received 11 submissions from 10 companies describing commercial leasing interest within the RFI area. BOEMRE is reviewing these submissions for completeness and also to evaluate legal, technical and financial qualifications to hold an OCS renewable energy lease.
BOEMRE has not yet identified an area that may be offered for leasing or approved for subsequent development. Next steps include continued meetings of the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Task Force to inform members of the submissions of interest, comments received and to discuss next steps, including the identification of a ‘Smart from the Start Wind Energy Area’ and the development of a call for information and nominations.
After consulting with task force members and stakeholders, BOEMRE may further modify the area under consideration for potential commercial wind energy leasing, the agency says.