The Interior, Energy, and Commerce departments have established a target to deploy 30 GW of offshore wind in the US by 2030.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has identified nearly 800,000 acres (1,250 sq mi) as wind energy areas (WEAs) in the New York Bight, between Long Island and the New Jersey coast.
The agency will now initiate an environmental review, with public input, on these areas in federal waters for potential offshore wind leasing.
BOEM will prepare an environmental assessment (EA) to consider potential environmental consequences of site characterization activities and site assessment activities associated with issuing wind energy leases in the WEAs. The EA also considers project easements associated with each potential lease issued, and grants for subsea cable corridors in the New York Bight.
BOEM has 16 active commercial wind energy leases off the Atlantic coast.
Also, tomorrow the bureau will publish a notice of intent (NOI) to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) for Ocean Wind LLC’s proposed wind energy facility offshore New Jersey.
The publication of the NOI opens a 30-day public comment period. During this time, BOEM will hold three virtual public scoping meetings and accept comments to inform preparation of the EIS.
The 1,100-MW Ocean Wind project would be in federal waters about 13 nautical mi (15 statute mi) southeast of Atlantic City, New Jersey. The onshore export cables, substations, and up to two grid connections would be in Ocean and Cape May counties, New Jersey.
Environmental reviews for Vineyard Wind and South Fork are under way. BOEM anticipates initiating the environmental reviews for up to 10 additional projects later this year.
National Ocean Industries Association President Erik Milito issued the following statement:
“Today’s announcement is a win for the American people, the energy industry, and the environment. Providing new offshore wind opportunities, establishing permitting milestones, and boosting critical investments into the supply chain, ports, and workers will provide a foundation for exceptional offshore wind growth. Offshore wind is truly a generational economic and energy opportunity, and one the Biden administration is seizing.
“While the development of Atlantic wind opportunities will provide substantial benefits to the states adjacent to lease areas, it will also lead to tremendous investment throughout the nation. In areas like the Gulf Coast, you will find steel fabricators, heavy lift vessel operators, subsea construction companies, helicopter service providers and more who built their experience in the oil and gas industry but will be vital in building offshore wind.
“We hope that the Biden administration continues to build off the recent positive momentum for offshore wind. Adopting a regular and predictable offshore wind lease auction schedule and ensuring that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has the resources it needs to progress these ambitious goals will clear the way for a vibrant US offshore wind industry.”