The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) last week announced it has completed its environmental review of potential impacts from offshore wind energy leasing activities in the Humboldt Wind Energy Area (WEA), located 20 miles offshore northern California. Based on its analysis, BOEM has issued a finding of no significant impact.
BOEM’s environmental assessment (EA) considered potential impacts from the issuance of leases within the WEA, which comprises nearly 132,369 acres (206.8 square miles) off the coast of Humboldt County, California. The Humboldt WEA, if developed, could bring up to 1.6 GW of clean energy to the grid.
The EA looked at potential environmental consequences of site characterization activities (i.e., biological, archeological, geological and geophysical surveys and core samples) and site assessment activities (i.e., installation of meteorological buoys). It also examined project easements and related right-of-way grants for subsea cable corridors in the WEA.
Should a lease sale occur and before approving the construction of any offshore wind energy facility in the Humboldt WEA, BOEM will develop an environmental impact statement pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act to analyse the project-specific environmental and socioeconomic consequences, in consultation with stakeholders.