New Jersey Activities

New Jersey Wind Energy Area
New Jersey Wind Energy Area

What’s New?

On July 17, 2014, BOEM announced that the Atlantic Wind Lease Sale 5 Proposed Sale Notice (PSN) would be published in the Federal Register on July 21, 2014. The Notice requests public comments on BOEM’s proposal to auction two leases offshore New Jersey for commercial wind energy development. Information related to the PSN is located below.

Overview

The Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Lands Act requires BOEM to award leases competitively, unless BOEM determines there is no competitive interest. So in April 2011, BOEM published the Call for Information and Nominations – Commercial Leasing for Wind Power on the Outer Continental Shelf Offshore New Jersey in the Federal Register for public review.  The purpose of the “Call” was to invite companies to submit nominations for one or more Commercial leases for the construction of a wind energy project(s) on the Outer Continental Shelf offshore New Jersey.  BOEM wanted to assess whether competitive interest for wind energy development offshore New Jersey.  The “Call” also requested information about site conditions, resources, and multiple uses within the area identified within the Call Area that would be relevant for commercial wind leasing.

Materials relating to the “Call” are below.

The public comment period for the Call closed on June 6, 2011.  In response, BOEM received 11 commercial indications of interest to obtain a commercial lease for a wind energy project.  BOEM initiated a review of these parties' submissions to assess filing completeness, as well as legal, technical, and financial qualifications to hold an OCS renewable energy commercial lease.  BOEM also received a number of comments, which can be viewed by clicking here.

Interim Policy

Prior to the “Call” being issued, BOEM announced its interim policy on November 2007 in anticipation of the final regulations that were published in April 2009. The interim policy allowed for limited leasing and was designed for resource data collection and technology testing activities. The interim policy leases have a five year term and provide no subsequent commercial rights. In June 2009, the BOEM offered a a number of leases, which were executed later that year.  Executed Interim Policy Leases offshore New Jersey include the following:

Environmental Review

On Feb. 3, 2012, BOEM published in the Federal Register a Notice of Availability of an Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for commercial wind lease issuance and site assessment activities on the Atlantic OCS offshore New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia.  Consultations ran concurrently with preparation of the EA and included consultations under the Endangered Species Act, Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, and the Coastal Zone Management Act.  On July 11, 2012, BOEM issued a “Finding of No Historic Properties Affected for the Issuance of Commercial Leases within the New Jersey Wind Energy Area."

National Renewable Energy Laboratory Assessment Report

The Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), under an interagency agreement with BOEM, is providing technical assistance to identify and delineate leasing areas for offshore wind energy development within Wind Energy Areas on the Atlantic Coast. In October 2013, NREL submitted a report to BOEM that focuses on the New Jersey Wind Energy Area. To access the report, click here.

Proposed Sale Notice

On July 17, 2014, BOEM announced that the Atlantic Wind Lease Sale 5 Proposed Sale Notice (PSN) would be published in the Federal Register on July 21, 2014. The Notice requests public comments on BOEM’s proposal to auction two leases offshore New Jersey for commercial wind energy development. Information related to the PSN is located below.

Next Steps

The Proposed Sale Notice triggers a 60-day public comment period. Comments received or postmarked by that date will be made available to the public and considered before the publication of the Final Sale Notice, which will announce the time and date of the lease sale.

The end of the comment period also serves as the deadline for any companies wishing to participate in the lease sale to submit their qualification package, if they have not already done so. To be eligible to participate in the lease sale, each bidder must have been notified by BOEM that it is legally, technically and financially qualified by the time the Final Sale Notice is published. The Proposed Sale Notice provides more information about qualification requirements. Companies planning to submit a qualification package are strongly encouraged to submit as early as possible during the comment period to ensure adequate time for processing.

BOEM will host a public seminar on Aug. 6, 2014 to describe the auction format, explain the auction rules, and demonstrate the auction process through meaningful examples. The time and place of the seminar will be announced by BOEM and related information will be published below.

Public Engagement

BOEM coordinates OCS renewable energy activities offshore New Jersey through its Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force, which is made up of representatives from federal, state, local and tribal governments.  To obtain information discussed during the Task Force meetings, click on the links below.

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