This letter submits an Area for Consideration for BOEM's Area Identification Process. Within the Area for Consideration, BOEM is urged to expediciously identify at least four new Wind Energy Areas (WEA), each capable of supporting at lease 800 MW, and to conduct lease auctions for these WEAs.
New York State submitted maps to BOEM of the four Wind Energy Areas within the Area for Consideration. As part of its Offshore Wind Master Plan, New York State began with over 16,000 square miles of area called the Offshore Study Area. The Area of Consideration represents approximately ten percent of the original Offshore Study Area, refined through a rigorous process.
On December 2, 2016, BOEM received an application to assign 100% of commercial lease OCS-A 0482 to GSOE I, LLC. BOEM approved the assignment on December 20, 2016.
BOEM has announced the completion of the nation's sixth competitive lease sale for renewable energy in federal waters. The provisionsal winner of the lease is Statoil Wind US LLC. 79, 350 acres offshore New York have been leased to Statoil for $42, 469, 725.
In this letter to BOEM, Rhode Island encourages BOEM to consider the Rhode Island model of stakeholder engagement and to engage with Rhode Island stakeholders as BOEM reviews NY wind energy area development plans. Development plans may impact RI commercial fishermen. Rhode Island qualifies as an "affected state" and should be eligible to participate in the interstate renewable energy task force for the NY wind energy area.
The report is titled Socio-Economic Impact of Outer Continental Shelf Wind Energy Development on Fisheries in the U.S. Atlantic. Recognizing the importance that commercial and recreational fisheries play in the U.S. economy and to food supply, BOEM worked with the National Marine Fisheries Service to better understand fishing activity as it relates to areas of potential offshore wind energy development.
On March 16, 2017, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Acting Director Walter Cruickshank announced the completion of the nation’s seventh competitive lease sale for renewable wind energy in federal waters. A Wind Energy Area of 122,405 acres offshore Kitty Hawk, North Carolina received the high bid of $9,066,650 from Avangrid Renewables, LLC, the provisional winner.
BOEM has been working with the North Carolina Renewable Energy Task Force since 2010 to identify an area of sufficient size for offshore wind development, while avoiding ecologically sensitive areas and multiple use conflicts. The North Carolina lease area, designated OCS-A 0508, begins about 24 nautical miles from shore and extends 25.7 nautical miles in a general southeast direction. Its seaward extent ranges from 13.5 nautical miles in the north to .6 of a nautical mile in the south.
Using the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s estimates of 3 megawatts (MW) per square kilometer, the lease area has a potential generating capacity of 1,486 MW, enough energy to power more than 500,000 homes. The actual size of the wind energy project will be determined by the developer.
The purpose is to assess the estimated economic impact of a 40 MW demonstration offshore wind farm off South Carolina, including electric rate impacts.