Maryland Lease Areas
The Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Lands Act requires BOEM to award leases competitively, unless BOEM determines there is no competitive interest. In November 2010, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) initiated the leasing process offshore Maryland by issuing a Request for Interest (RFI) to gauge industry’s interest in obtaining commercial wind leases in an area offshore of Maryland. Materials relating to the RFI are provided below.
Call for Information and Nominations
In Feb. 2012, BOEM published a Call for Information and Nominations (“Call”) to solicit 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. Materials relating to the Call are below.
BOEM identified the "Call Area" in consultation with its intergovernmental Maryland Renewable Energy Task Force, which includes federal, state, local and tribal government representatives.
On Feb. 3, 2012, BOEM also 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. In June 2012, BOEM published a Finding of No Historic Properties Affected for the Issuance of Commercial Leases within the Maryland Wind Energy Area.
BOEM has funded or considered numerous studies to collect information about the marine environment to support decisions concerning offshore renewable energy development. For more information, please visit: http://www.boem.gov/MD-Environmental-Studies/.
Proposed Sale Notice
BOEM published a Proposed Sale Notice (PSN) in the Federal Register on Dec.18, 2013, which describes proposed terms and conditions for a lease sale for two commercial wind energy leases in the Maryland Wind Energy Area (WEA). A public seminar regarding this PSN was held in Baltimore on January 24, 2014. The 60-day public comment period for the PSN ended on Feb.18, 2014. In response, BOEM received 19 comment submissions and seven additional qualifications packages from companies wishing to participate in the auction. Public comments received are available by clicking here.
Correspondence Referenced in the PSN:
Final Sale Notice
On July 3, 2014, BOEM published a Final Sale Notice, which states a commercial lease sale (i.e., auction) will be held August 19, 2014, for the Wind Energy Area (WEA) offshore Maryland. The auction represents the third competitive lease sale for renewable energy on the OCS.
The WEA covers approximately 80,000 acres, and its western edge is located about 10 nautical miles from the Ocean City coastline. It will be auctioned as two leases, referred to as the North Lease Area (32,737 acres) and the South Lease Area (46,970 acres). Materials related to the Final Sale Notice are below.
The area available for auction is identical to the one announced in the Proposed Sale Notice (PSN) published in the Federal Register on Dec. 18, 2013 for a 60-day public comment period. BOEM carefully considered public comments received during this time prior to developing the Final Sale Notice, as discussed in the Response to Comments above.
A commercial lease sale for Maryland was held on Aug. 19, 2014. At the conclusion of the sale, BOEM announced that US Wind Inc. was the provisional winner of both leases, for a total bid of $8,701,098. A summary of bidding results is provided here.
On Dec. 1, 2014, the commercial wind energy leases with US Wind Inc. went into into effect. The executed leases are provided below.
Site Assessment Plan
A complete Site Assessment Plan was submitted by U.S. Wind, Inc. to BOEM for meteorological evaluations and site assessment on April 7, 2016.
The plan details the methods and procedures U.S. Wind, Inc. will use to collect and analyze meteorological and oceanographic data and information on the conditions of the marine environment within its two commercial leases. Data collection will be performed using a meteorological tower and a seabed mounted acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) sensor and a conductivity, temperature, and depth (CTD) sensor.
BOEM coordinates Outer Continental Shelf renewable energy activities offshore Maryland with its federal, state, local, and tribal government partners through its Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force. BOEM also coordinates public information meetings to help keep interested stakeholders updated on major renewable energy milestones. To obtain information discussed during these meetings click on the links below:
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