US puts out calls for nominations to identify sites for offshore wind development

The US Department of the Interior announced this week that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will publish two separate calls for information and nominations for possible leasing in areas that are determined to be suitable off the coast of Oregon and in the Central Atlantic.

These calls for information and nominations “provide an important avenue to solicit information as we identify potential areas that may be suitable for future offshore wind energy leasing,” said BOEM Director Amanda Lefton.

Scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on April 29, each call will initiate a separate 60-day comment period during which the public can submit relevant information on site conditions, marine resources and ocean uses near or within the call areas. Concurrently, wind energy companies can nominate specific areas they would like to see offered for leasing.

Engagement with stakeholder organizations, ocean users, federal agencies, states, Tribal governments and other parties has already taken place as BOEM seeks to advance offshore wind in areas of least impact. Information gathered through this next step will be used to significantly narrow the area to be considered for offshore wind development leasing.

BOEM is seeking information on six distinct areas in the Central Atlantic comprising almost 3.9m acres. The closest point to the shore of any of the areas is approximately 20 nautical miles off the Central Atlantic coast.

The Oregon call requests information on two areas that together comprise approximately 1.2m acres. Both areas begin about 12 nautical miles from shore at their closest points, off the coast of central and southern Oregon.

BOEM will consider public comments and commercial nominations in response to the calls to analyse potential use conflicts before designating specific wind energy areas (WEAs) within the respective call areas. BOEM will then conduct environmental reviews of the WEAs in consultation with key stakeholders.

After completing its environmental reviews and consultations, BOEM may propose one or more competitive lease sales for areas within the WEAs.

Kim Biggar

Kim Biggar started writing in the supply chain sector in 2000, when she joined the Canadian Association of Supply Chain & Logistics Management. In 2004/2005, she was project manager for the Government of Canada-funded Canadian Logistics Skills Committee, which led to her 13-year role as communications manager of the Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council. A longtime freelance writer, Kim has contributed to publications including The Forwarder, 3PL Americas, The Shipper Advocate and Supply Chain Canada.
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