BOEM Seeks Industry Interest in Wind Energy Development Offshore New York

Agency Provides Opportunity for Public Comment

05-27-2014 WASHINGTON

Contact: Tracey Moriarty

As part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan to create American jobs, develop domestic clean energy sources and cut carbon pollution, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) today announced it is moving forward with wind energy planning efforts on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) offshore New York.

The bureau is publishing a Call for Information and Nominations (Call) to obtain nominations from companies interested in commercial wind energy leases within a proposed area offshore New York, located 11 nautical miles south of Long Beach, New York.

In addition to nominations, BOEM seeks public input on the potential for wind development in the Call Area, including comments on site conditions, resources, and existing uses of the area that would be relevant to BOEM’s wind energy development authorization process. In particular, BOEM requests public comment on two issues that may impact future wind development offshore New York, namely a liquefied natural gas facility that is proposed to be located in the same area under consideration for offshore wind development, and existing commercial and recreational fishing activity in and around the Call Area.

In addition to publishing the Call, BOEM is publishing a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA). The purpose of the EA is to determine whether there are significant impacts associated with issuing a lease, conducting site characterization surveys, and conducting site assessment activities (e.g., the installation of a meteorological tower or buoys) within the proposed area. Through the NOI, BOEM is seeking public input on the environmental and socioeconomic issues to be considered, as well as alternatives and mitigation measures.

“The Call is an important step in planning for wind offshore New York,” said BOEM Acting Director Walter Cruickshank. “After the completion of the necessary environmental reviews, consideration of the existing uses of the area, and consideration of feedback from the New York Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force and the public, BOEM will decide whether to publish a Proposed Sale Notice to describe the area to be offered and the proposed terms and conditions of wind energy leases."

Today’s announcement builds on BOEM’s recent activities to grow offshore renewable energy through the leasing of wind energy areas. BOEM has awarded five commercial wind energy leases off the Atlantic coast: two non-competitive leases (Cape Wind in Nantucket Sound and an area off Delaware) and three competitive leases (two offshore Massachusetts-Rhode Island and another offshore Virginia). BOEM expects to hold additional competitive auctions for wind energy areas offshore Maryland, Massachusetts and New Jersey in the coming year.

The proposed location – or “Call Area” -- under consideration in today’s announcement is approximately 127 square miles. It contains 132 whole OCS blocks and 19 partial blocks.

A map of the Call Area can be obtained by clicking here. It is the same area described in BOEM’s Request for Interest (RFI), which the agency published in the Federal Register for public comment on January 4, 2013. BOEM may adjust this potential leasing area depending on information received following the Call.

BOEM published the RFI after receiving an unsolicited request from the New York Power Authority (NYPA) for a commercial wind energy lease. The purpose of the RFI was to determine whether it was appropriate for BOEM to issue the lease to NYPA on a non-competitive basis, or whether a competitive process would be required. In response to the RFI, BOEM received multiple public comments and two indications of interest, which can be viewed by clicking here. Because it received indications of interest, BOEM is required to follow the competitive lease sale process for this area offshore New York.

BOEM will publish the Call and NOI in the Federal Register on May 28. Both notices will include a 45-day public comment period. BOEM will accept comments until July 14, 2014, via the following ways:

Electronically: Click on the “Open Comment Documents” link and follow instructions to view relevant documents and submit comments.

In written form, deliver to:

Office of Renewable Energy Programs
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
381 Elden Street, HM 1328
Herndon, Virginia 20170-4817

For more information about BOEM’s wind energy planning efforts offshore New York, click here.

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