Obama Administration Initiates Leasing Process for Commercial Wind Development Offshore Maryland
President Obama’s State of the Union call for an “all of the above” energy
strategy, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, together with the state of
Maryland, announced today that it is taking the next step in the
evaluation of commercial
wind energy development in an area on the
Outer Continental Shelf offshore of Maryland, through a competitive leasing process.
BOEM is publishing a Call for Information and
solicit any additional lease nominations and request public comments about site conditions, resources and other
existing uses of the identified area that would be relevant to BOEM’s potential
leasing and development authorization process.
2010, the Bureau initiated the leasing process by issuing a Request for
Interest to gauge industry’s interest in obtaining commercial wind leases in an
area offshore of Maryland.
Based on the responses received, BOEM determined that there is competitive
interest for wind energy development in the identified area, and will therefore
move forward with a competitive leasing process.
continuing to work closely with the state of Maryland
to facilitate commercial leasing for offshore wind energy development in
federal waters off of Maryland’s
coast,” said BOEM Director Tommy P. Beaudreau. “This is a significant step forward in the process that we hope will lead
to active leasing in promising areas for the assessment and development of
renewable wind energy projects.”
jobs, a modern economy requires modern investments,” said Governor Martin
O’Malley. “Maryland has emerged as one of the
leaders in the effort to harness the power of offshore wind, and this
legislative session we are continuing our fight for Maryland
to harness the powerful gusts of wind blowing off of Maryland’s shores and to create thousands of
jobs in a new offshore wind industry. Together, with our federal, state and local
partners, we can ensure our state’s long-term energy security.”
The Call Area
was identified by BOEM in consultation with its intergovernmental Maryland Renewable Energy Task Force,
which includes federal, state, local and tribal government representatives. The Call Area is intended to balance
the adequate protection of ecologically sensitive areas and minimize space use
conflicts while maximizing the area available for commercial offshore wind
development. Site-specific mitigation, stipulations or exclusion areas may be
applied as a result of future environmental reviews and associated consultations.
The Call Area offshore Maryland contains nine whole OCS blocks and 11 partial
blocks. The western
edge of the Call Area is approximately 10 nautical miles from the Ocean City, Md., coast, and
the eastern edge is approximately 23 nautical miles from the same location. The longest
part of the north/south portion is approximately 13 nautical miles and the longest part of the
east/west portion is approximately 13 nautical miles. The entire area is approximately 79,706
acres. A map of the area of interest can be found at: http://www.boem.gov/Maryland/
BOEM recently completed the Commercial Wind Lease Issuance and Site
Assessment Activities on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf Offshore New
Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia - Environmental Assessment and
determined that there would be no significant impacts associated with issuing
leases in the Wind Energy Areas offshore New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.
The EA is available at: http://www.boem.gov/Renewable-Energy-Program/Smart-from-the-Start/Index.aspx.
The public is encouraged to provide any
additional information about site conditions, resources and multiple uses in
the Call area that can assist BOEM in further reducing or eliminating obvious
conflicts, including potentially refining the area ultimately identified for
proposed future commercial leasing. Proposed offshore wind projects will
receive comprehensive, site-specific analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act.
notice is available for public inspection today through the Federal Register at: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/public-inspection/index.html. Submissions
of interest and public comments must be submitted within 45 days of publication in the Federal Register in one of the following
- Electronically: http://www.boem.gov/About-BOEM/Public-Engagement/Public-Engagement-Opportunities.aspx
on the “Open Comment Documents” link and follow the instructions to submit
public comments and to view supporting and related materials.
- By mail: send
indications of interest, comments and information to: Bureau of Ocean
Energy Management, Office of Renewable Energy Programs, 381 Elden Street, HM
1328, Herndon, VA 20170