As part of the Biden-Harris administration's goal to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced on April 27, 2022 that it will publish a Call for Information and Nominations (Call) to assess commercial interest in -- and obtain public input on -- potential wind energy leasing activities in federal waters off the coast of Oregon.
Call for Information and Nominations
The Call Area is located offshore the State of Oregon and comprises areas identified as Coos Bay and Brookings. These two areas total about 1,159,298 acres (1,811 square miles) and are located offshore south-central and southern Oregon, respectively.
- Coos Bay Call Area: The boundary of the Coos Bay Call Area begins 13.8 miles offshore Charleston, Oregon, and extends to about 65 miles offshore. The eastern boundary water depth ranges from about 394 to 722 feet (120 to 220 meters). The area is about 67 miles in length from north to south and about 41 miles in width from east to west. The entire area is approximately 872,854 acres (1,364 square miles).
- Brookings Call Area: The boundary of the Brookings Call area begins 13.8 miles offshore Gold Beach and Brookings, Oregon, and extends to about 46 miles offshore. The eastern boundary water depth ranges from about 410 to 1,115 feet (125 to 340 meters). The area is about 46 miles in length from north to south and about 22 miles in width from east to west. The entire area is approximately 286,444 acres (448 square miles).
Maps of Oregon Call Areas
- BOEM continues to coordinate planning for potential offshore renewable energy leasing and development activities through the BOEM Oregon Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force, a partnership of members of state, local and federally-recognized tribal governments and federal agencies. The task force serves as a forum to: discuss stakeholder issues and concerns; exchange data and information about biological and physical resources, ocean uses and priorities; and facilitate early and continual dialogue and collaboration opportunities.
- Virtual Meeting Room: 2021 BOEM Oregon Offshore Wind Planning Public Webinars and Workshops
- BOEM-Oregon Participation in Standing Meetings
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 https://www.boem.gov/environment/environmental-studies-pacific.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) presented the West Coast Renewable Energy Science Exchange from November 2019 through September 2020. This series of bimonthly webinars focused on BOEM-funded scientific research offshore California, Oregon, and Washington that will inform decisions about the planning, leasing, and development of ocean renewable energy in those areas. The webinar schedule, descriptions, and presentations can be found on the West Coast Renewable Energy Science Exchange page.
The BOEM-Oregon Science Exchange, a series of webinars about BOEM-funded research related to renewable energy off the Oregon coast, concluded in September 2016. The webinar schedule, descriptions, and presentations can be found on the BOEM-Oregon Science Exchange page.
How to Comment
Publication of the call in the Federal Register will initiate a 60-day public comment period ending at 11:59 p.m. ET on Tuesday, June 28, 2022. Companies interested in submitting their nomination(s) should follow the directions contained in the Federal Register Notice. OROWindMap is a planning tool that can be used to supplement the narrative part of your public comment if you would like to include a map to highlight specific data layers or to create and share map annotations (drawings). Instructions are available here. BOEM does not consider anonymous comments. Please include your name and address as part of your submittal. All comments submitted will be made part of the public record and will be posted publicly without change.
Public comments can be submitted via the following ways:
- Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. In the search box at the top of the webpage, enter BOEM-2022-0009 and then click “search.” Follow the instructions to submit public comments and view supporting and related materials.
- Mail to the address listed below.
Dr. Whitney Hauer, Renewable Energy Specialist
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
Office of Strategic Resources
760 Paseo Camarillo (Suite 102)
Camarillo, California 93010
BOEM and the State, led by the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD), have engaged in offshore wind planning with a meaningful and effective data gathering and engagement process to inform the identification of Oregon Call Area(s) appropriate for offshore wind leasing. The Data Gathering and Engagement Plan for Offshore Wind Energy in Oregon outlines how BOEM and the State are conducting the planning process. The Data Gathering and Engagement Summary Report outlines the outcome of BOEM’s and DLCD’s engagement through 2021 with research organizations and potentially interested and affected parties in gathering data and information to inform potential offshore wind energy leasing decisions offshore Oregon.
The Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD), in partnership with BOEM, developed the Oregon Offshore Wind Mapping Tool (OROWindMap) within the West Coast Ocean Data Portal to provide public access to the best available data throughout the planning process. This planning tool accesses relevant datasets and provides visualization capabilities to inform the planning process for offshore wind energy leasing in federal waters offshore Oregon. The OROWindMap Catalog documents the data records incorporated into OROWindMap. The inclusion of new data sets will help inform the public, the State, and BOEM during the planning process. More information on how to include data in OROWindMap.
More information on the BOEM-Oregon offshore wind planning effort can be found on the Oregon Offshore Renewable Energy factsheet.
On February 16, 2021, BOEM issued a lease to Oregon State University for the PacWave South Project, the First Wave Energy Research Project in Federal Waters Offshore the U.S. West Coast.
The Federal marine hydrokinetic energy (MHK) research lease was issued to Oregon State University (OSU) for the PacWave South project, a proposed open ocean wave energy test center, to be located approximately six nautical miles off Newport, Oregon. The research lease area is approximately 4,270 acres (6.67 square miles) for a proposed 2.65 square mile-project. Lease issuance by BOEM is a prerequisite for a license from Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which is the Federal Agency that would approve project construction and operations.
OSU submitted an unsolicited request for a research lease for the PacWave South Project, formerly known as the Pacific Marine Energy Center – South Energy Test Site (PMEC-SETS) Project, in October 2013. The project would consist of four test ‘berths’ to support the testing of up to 20 wave energy devices, with an installed capacity not to exceed 20 megawatts, to demonstrate the viability of wave energy.
- Project Map (2013)
- Project Map on Nautical Chart (2013)
- Aliquots from 2013 Request (Zip File)
- Lease P OCS-0560 Map (2021)
- Lease P OCS-0560 Aliquots (2021) (Zip File)
In March 2014, BOEM published a Request for Competitive Interest in the Federal Register. Comments were submitted in response to the request. June 2014, BOEM published a Determination of No Competitive Interest in the area requested by Oregon State University and proceeded with the leasing process on a non-competitive basis.
Jurisdiction for grid-connected marine hydrokinetic (MHK) projects on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) is shared by BOEM and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). BOEM has authority to issue leases, easements, and rights-of way and FERC has authority for the construction and operations of MHK projects on the OCS. Visit BOEM’s Regulatory Framework and Guidelines for more information on the regulatory process.
In June 2014, FERC published a Notice of Intent to File License Application and OSU’s request to use the Alternative Licensing Process was approved. Additionally, OSU filed a Pre-Application Document (PAD). OSU submitted the Final License Application to FERC in May 2019. In July 2019, OSU amended the lease request area to include the Aliquots encompassed by the project site, as detailed in the Final License Application to FERC. On August 29, 2019, FERC published a notice which (1) accepted the application for filing and (2) solicits anyone, over a 30-day window, to submit comments, a motion to intervene and protest, final terms and conditions, recommendations, and prescriptions.
On April 23, 2020, FERC issued the Environmental Assessment for the PacWave South Project along with a Notice of Availability which includes a 45-day comment period for the Environmental Assessment. BOEM's proposed action is to issue a research lease and easements for five subsea transmission cables on the OCS.
On January 19, 2020, BOEM offered the first marine renewable energy research lease in Federal waters off the U.S. West Coast.
On January 19, 2021, BOEM issued the Finding of No Significant Impact for the MHK research lease based on the analysis in the Environmental Assessment and offered an MHK research lease to OSU for the PacWave South Project.
February 16, 2021 – BOEM Issues lease to OSU for the PacWave South Project
March 1, 2021 - FERC issues license order to OSU for the PacWave South Hydrokinetic Project No. 14616
July 28, 2021 – BOEM publishes public notice to inform of lease issuance and to define the size of lease area.
Additional information related to OSU’s licensing with FERC can be found at FERC’s website (use the “eLibrary” link and P-14616 for the “Docket Number”).
In September 2018, BOEM determined that the Principle Power Offshore Wind Pilot project no longer retains its non-competitive interest status and BOEM is no longer processing the Principle Power lease request. The Offshore Wind Pilot Project was proposed by Principle Power, Inc., in May 2013
- WindFloat Pacific Project Determination of No Competitive Interest Federal Register Notice
- WindFloat Pacific Project Request for Interest Federal Register Notice
- Comments Submitted in Response to Request for Interest
- WindFloat Pacific Project Unsolicited Lease Request
- WindFloat Pacific Project Map
- WindFloat Pacific Project Map on Nautical Chart
Environmental Review for WindFloat Pacific
- Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Assessment for Proposed Wind Energy-Related Development Activities on the Pacific Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Offshore Oregon and Notice of Public Scoping Meetings
- Fishing Outreach Meeting: June 18, 2014 - Charleston, OR
WindFloat Pacific Data Files
- Pacific Regional Collaboration - Learn more about BOEM's involvement in the West Coast Ocean Alliance and West Coast Ocean Data Network
- A Citizen's Guide to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's Renewable Energy Authorization Process
- National Environmental Policy Act Citizen's Guide
- Selected BOEM-Funded Research Informing Renewable Energy Offshore Oregon
- Fact Sheet: BOEM Renewable Energy Program
- Fact Sheet: BOEM Leasing Process
- Overview of Floating Offshore Wind – National Renewable Energy Laboratory
- Offshore Wind Market Report: 2021 Edition – Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy
BOEM-Oregon Offshore Wind Energy Planning
- Data Gathering and Engagement Plan for Offshore Wind Energy in Oregon
- Oregon Offshore Wind Mapping Tool (OROWindMap)
- OROWindMap Catalog
- Fact Sheet: Oregon Offshore Renewable Energy
- Fact Sheet: OROWindMap
Oregon related news releases and Notes to Stakeholders can be found in the BOEM Newsroom. In the search bar, type the name of the state and/or select year of announcement.