BOEM to Assess Competitive Interest in First Proposed Wind Energy Project Site Offshore West Coast

Public Comment Sought on Floating Wind Turbines Pilot Proposal

2013-09-27 Washington, D.C.

As part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan to create American jobs, cut carbon pollution, and develop domestic energy sources, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) today issued a request to determine whether there is competitive interest in leasing an area offshore Oregon that Principle Power, Inc. has proposed for a pilot-scale floating wind energy project. BOEM must assess whether there are other parties interested in developing commercial wind facilities in the same area in order to determine whether it is appropriate to issue a lease on a non-competitive basis, or whether a competitive process is required. 

The proposed WindFloat Pacific Project, which would be located about 16 nautical miles west of Coos Bay, Oregon in about 1,200 feet of water, is designed to generate 30 Megawatts (MW) of electricity from five “WindFloat” units, each equipped with a 6 MW offshore wind turbine.  The proposed lease area covers about 15 square miles. In addition to inquiring about competitive interest, BOEM is also seeking public comment on the proposal, its potential environmental consequences, and the use of the area in which the proposed project would be located. 

"Today's announcement represents an important step forward in the President’s all-of-the-above energy strategy as we seek to facilitate renewable, clean energy generation off America’s West Coast," said BOEM Director Tommy P. Beaudreau.  "We will work closely with the state of Oregon and stakeholders to share information and resolve issues in order to make responsible wind energy development in federal waters a reality."

The Windfloat Pacific Project is the latest in a series of lease initiatives BOEM has undertaken to support offshore wind energy development.  BOEM has issued four lease approvals on the Atlantic Coast: two non-competitive (Cape Wind in Natuckett Sound and an area off Delaware) and two competitive (Massachusetts-Rhode Island and Virginia).  The competitive lease sales generated $5.4 million in high bids for 277, 549 acres on the U.S. Continental Shelf.  Combined, these areas could generate enough renewable energy to power 1.7 million homes.   Additional competitive auctions for wind energy areas offshore Maryland, New Jersey and Massachusetts will be held over the next year.

BOEM will publish a "Potential Commercial Leasing for Wind Power on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Offshore Oregon, Request for Interest” in the Federal Register on Sept. 30, 2013. The notice will include a 30-day public comment period. Once published, BOEM will accept comments in either of the following ways:

Comments can be submitted electronically at: http://www.boem.gov/About-BOEM/Public-Engagement/Public-Engagement-Opportunities.aspx. Click on the "Open Comment Documents" link and follow instructions to view relevant documents and submit comments.

Written comments should be sent to:
Jean Thurston
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
Office of Strategic Resources
770 Paseo Camerillo, cm215
Camarillo, California 93010

BOEM received an unsolicited request for a commercial wind lease from Principle Power, Inc. on May 15, 2013.  With the exception of confidential and proprietary information, the lease request and an amendment filed on June 11, 2013, can be viewed, at: http://www.boem.gov/Renewable-Energy-Program/State-Activities/Oregon.aspx  

For more information on BOEM's renewable energy programs, visit: http://www.boem.gov/Renewable- Energy-Program/index.aspx.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) promotes energy independence, environmental protection and economic development through responsible, science-based management of offshore conventional and renewable energy resources.