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 of the Central Atlantic.
Call for Information and Nominations
- Central Atlantic Call for Information and Nominations
- Call Area Shape Files
- Call Area Blocks
- Nautical Chart Map
The Call Area is located offshore the Commonwealth of Virginia and the States of Delaware, Maryland, and North Carolina and comprises areas A-F. These six areas include 496 whole OCS blocks and 298 partial blocks and comprise approximately 3,897,388 acres (1,577,217 hectares).
- Call Area A: The boundary of Call Area A begins approximately 20 nautical miles (nmi) offshore of Delaware and Maryland and extends eastward to the Sea Scallop Rotational Area and the proposed USCG’s Port Access Route Studies (PARS) fairways. The area at its widest points is about 12 nmi from east to west and about 29 nmi from north to south. Call Area A does not include the Del-Jersey artificial reef and comprises approximately 235,222 acres (95,191 hectares).
- Call Area B: The boundary of Call Area B begins approximately 21 nmi offshore of Maryland and Virginia and extends eastward to the 60-meter bathymetric contour and the proposed PARS fairways. The area at its widest points is about 14 nmi from east to west and about 69 nmi from north to south. Call Area B comprises approximately 652,218 acres (263,943 hectares).
- Call Area C: The boundary of Call Area C begins approximately 35 nmi offshore of Virginia and extends eastward to the 60-meter bathymetric contour. The area is about 21 nmi from east to west and about 10 nmi from north to south. Call Area C comprises approximately 183,907 acres (74,425 hectares).
- Call Area D: The boundary of Call Area D begins approximately 24 nmi offshore of Virginia and North Carolina and extends eastward to the 60-meter bathymetric contour. The area at its widest points is about 28 nmi from east to west and about 40 nmi from north to south. Call Area D comprises approximately 442,553 acres (179,095 hectares).
- Call Area E: The boundary of Call Area E begins approximately 56 nmi offshore of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia and extends eastward to between the 2,500 and 2,600-meter bathymetric contour. The area at its widest points is about 35 nmi from east to west and about 84 nmi from north to south. Call Area E comprises is approximately 1.6 million acres (655,590 hectares).
- Call Area F: The boundary of Call Area F begins approximately 44 nmi offshore of Virginia and North Carolina and extends eastward to between the 2,500 and 2,600-meter bathymetric contour. The area at its widest points is about 20 nmi from east to west and about 66 nmi from north to south. Call Area F comprises approximately 763,491 acres (308,974 hectares).
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.
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-2022-0023 and then click “search.” Follow the instructions to submit public comments and view supporting and related materials.
- Mail to the address listed below.
Office of Leasing and Plans
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard
New Orleans, Louisiana 70123
BOEM is responsible for offshore renewable energy development in federal waters. The program began in 2009, when the Department of the Interior (DOI) announced the final regulations for the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Renewable Energy Program, which was authorized by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct). These regulations provide a framework for all of the activities needed to support production and transmission of energy from sources other than oil and natural gas.
In 2020, the Virginia Clean Economy Act was passed into law which created the Commonwealth’s first Clean Energy Standard committing to transitioning the electric grid to 100% clean energy by 2050. BOEM received a letter from Virginia’s governor requesting the formation of a renewable energy regional task force that could lead to a lease sale. BOEM agreed to create a Central Atlantic Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force encompassing the area offshore Delaware south to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. On February 16, 2022 the first task force meeting took place.
BOEM is working on refining its process for identifying additional Wind Energy Areas (areas that may be suitable for offshore wind energy leasing). More specifically, BOEM is developing clear goals, objectives, and guidelines that can be shared with government agencies, Tribes, industry, ocean users, and others prior to identifying such areas. In addition, BOEM will use the best available science as well as knowledge from ocean users and other stakeholders to minimize conflict with existing uses and marine life. In order to minimize conflicts, BOEM plans to engage stakeholders early and often. The following is a list of scheduled engagement meetings:
- February 16, 2022: Central Atlantic Intergovernmental Task Force Meeting
- Task Force Roster
- Task Force Meeting Summary
- Final Agenda - Central Atlantic Task Force Meeting
- DRAFT Call Area Summary
- DRAFT Call Area Shapefile for download
- Map of DRAFT Call Area
- Meeting Recordings
- Welcome and Opening Remarks, Task Force Meeting Overview
- Task Force and Leasing Process Overview, and Call for Information and Nominations Review
- State of the States Task Force Reports and Feedback on Draft Call
- Panel – Federal Partners Feedback on Draft Call
- Open Discussion on Draft Call Area
- Panel – Central Atlantic Data and Information Resources and User Engagement
- Process Next Steps
- Public Input Opportunity, Closing Remarks
- January 18, 2022: Developer Engagement Meeting
- January 5-6, 2022: Sector-based Fisheries Meetings