The US Bureau of Ocean Energy and Management (BOEM) this week announced the availability of the draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for the proposed 2,076 MW Empire Wind energy project offshore New York.
The Empire Wind DEIS can be found on BOEM’s website, and the notice of availability for the DEIS will publish in the Federal Register on November 18, which will open a 60-day public comment period that ends at 11:59 pm ET on January 17. The input received via this process will inform preparation of the final EIS.
Empire Offshore Wind, LLC submitted a construction and operation plan (COP) for its proposal to develop two wind energy facilities and their associated export cables offshore New York, known as Empire Wind 1 and Empire Wind 2.
The proposal includes up to 147 offshore wind turbine generators, two offshore substations, two offshore electrical cable routes, up to three export cable landfall sites, up to three onshore electrical cable routes, and two onshore substations, providing connection to the existing electrical grid in Brooklyn and Long Beach, New York. The DEIS analyses the potential environmental impacts of the project as described in the COP and several alternatives to the proposed action.
BOEM will use the findings of the EIS to inform its decision on whether to approve Empire Wind’s COP and, if so, which mitigation measures to require.
Over the past year, according to a BOEM release, the agency has moved forward at the pace and scale required to help achieve the Biden-Harris administration’s goal to deploy 30 GW of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030. The bureau is also well on its way to achieving the Department of the Interior’s goal to review at least 16 project plans for commercial, offshore wind energy facilities by 2025, which represents more than 27 GW of clean energy for the nation.
In addition to approving the nation’s first two commercial-scale, offshore wind projects on the US Outer Continental Shelf, BOEM has initiated the environmental review process for 10 additional projects.
To date, BOEM has held 10 competitive lease sales and issued 27 active commercial wind leases in the Atlantic Ocean from Massachusetts to North Carolina.
During the comment period, BOEM will hold three virtual public meetings, where the public can learn more about the review process, the EIS schedule, potential impacts from the proposed project, and proposals to reduce potential impacts.