The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) today announced that it intends to conduct a review of potential environmental impacts associated with the possible issuance of an offshore wind energy research lease in the Gulf of Maine. The lease was requested by the State of Maine for the purpose of researching potential floating offshore wind energy development. The research site lies 20 nautical miles off the coast of Maine, roughly southeast of Portland, and if developed would comprise up to 12 floating offshore wind turbines capable of generating up to 144 megawatts of renewable energy.
BOEM will publish a Notice of Intent in the Federal Register to state its intent to prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the wind energy research lease, which will initiate a 30-day public comment period that will end at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Jun. 5, 2023. During this period, BOEM seeks public input regarding important environmental issues and the identification of reasonable alternatives that should be considered in the EA.
“BOEM appreciates the value of research demonstration projects to advance floating wind technology,” said BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein. “The Tribes, states, ocean users and stakeholders in the Gulf of Maine have valuable expertise on the issues facing this region, and we look forward to collaborating and working with everyone as we move forward.”
On Mar. 20, 2023, BOEM issued a Determination of No Competitive Interest for the research lease requested by the State of Maine. Today’s announcement to prepare an EA is a significant next step for processing the research lease application.
BOEM aims to address and better understand any concerns from the public and encourages input and feedback to help inform its decision-making.
BOEM will host a Gulf of Maine Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force meeting May 10-11, 2023, in Bangor, Maine. The purpose of the meeting is to update Task Force members and the public on BOEM’s commercial and research offshore wind energy planning activities and to discuss next steps for the Gulf of Maine.
The public is encouraged to attend this meeting. Opportunities for public input will occur on both days of the meeting. Additional information about the meeting will be available on BOEM's Gulf of Maine web page: https://www.boem.gov/Gulf-of-Maine/.
In addition, public comments may be submitted via the following ways:
- Regulations.gov. This is the federal government’s official commenting website. Go to www.regulations.gov and, in the field titled “Enter Keyword or ID,” enter BOEM-2023-0031, then click “search.” Follow the instructions to submit public comments and view supporting and related materials available for this notice.
- U.S. Mail or other delivery service. Comments and information may be sent to:
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
Office of Renewable Energy Programs
45600 Woodland Road, Mail Stop VAM-OREP
Sterling, VA 20166
-- BOEM --
The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is responsible for America’s offshore energy and mineral resources. The bureau promotes energy independence, environmental protection and economic development through responsible, science-based management of energy and mineral resources on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf.