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US seeks interest in offshore wind development

The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is stepping up efforts to grow offshore renewable energy through the leasing of wind energy areas.

The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is seeking industry interest in wind energy development in an offshore New York area, part of its efforts to grow offshore renewable energy through the leasing of wind energy areas.

The bureau is putting out a call for nominations from companies interested in commercial wind energy leases within a proposed area of offshore New York located 11 nautical miles south of Long Beach, it said in statement on its website.

“The Call is an important step in planning for wind offshore New York,” said BOEM acting director Walter Cruickshank. “After the completion of the necessary environmental reviews, consideration of the existing uses of the area, and consideration of feedback from the New York Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force and the public, BOEM will decide whether to publish a Proposed Sale Notice to describe the area to be offered and the proposed terms and conditions of wind energy leases.”

In addition, BOEM is soliciting public input on the potential for wind development in that area, while specifically asking for public comment on areas such as site conditions, resources, and existing uses of the area that would be relevant to the bureau’s wind energy development authorisation process.

The bureau particularly asks for public comment on a liquefied natural gas facility, which is proposed to be located in the same area, as well as existing commercial and recreational fishing activity in and around the proposed offshore New York area.

BOEM also published a Notice of Intent to prepare an environmental assessment, which is to determine whether there are significant impacts associated with issuing a lease. It will conduct site assessment activities within the proposed area.

BOEM has awarded five commercial wind energy leases off the Atlantic coast: two non-competitive leases (Cape Wind in Nantucket Sound and an area off Delaware) and three competitive leases (two offshore Massachusetts-Rhode Island and another offshore Virginia). BOEM expects to hold additional competitive auctions for wind energy areas offshore Maryland, Massachusetts and New Jersey in the coming year, according to the statement.

The proposed area comprises approximately 127 square miles and contains 132 whole Outer Continental Shelf blocks and 19 partial blocks.