On June 24, 2021, BOEM published a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Empire Wind project offshore New York.
- Notice of Intent to Prepare an EIS (BOEM-2021-0038)
- Empire Wind Construction and Operations Plan and Appendices
The Notice of Intent initiated a 30-day public comment period that ended on July 26, 2021. During the public comment period, BOEM hosted three virtual scoping meetings where the public learned more about the Construction and Operations Plan (COP), asked questions, and provided oral testimony. The virtual scoping meetings will be held on June 30, July 8 and July 13, 2021. For more information, please see: Empire Wind Scoping Virtual Meeting Room.
Following the comment period, BOEM will publish a scoping report and use the comments received during the public scoping process to identify issues and potential alternatives for consideration in the Empire Wind Draft EIS. Please find a permitting timeline here: https://www.permits.performance.gov/permitting-project/empire-wind-energy-project
Construction and Operations Plan
Empire Wind submitted its COP on January 10, 2020. An updated COP was submitted on April 14, 2021. BOEM will review the COP and approve, disapprove, or approve with modifications the proposed activities.
In addition to calling for up to 174 wind turbine generators, the Empire Wind COP calls for two offshore substations and 2 offshore electrical cable routes, up to three export cable landfall sites, up to three onshore electrical cable routes, and two onshore substations, providing connection to the existing electrical grid in New York.
Background Information: Site Assessment Plan
On November 21, 2018, BOEM approved the Site Assessment Plan (SAP) for lease OCS-A 0512 submitted by Equinor Wind US LLC. The SAP approval allows for the deployment of two RPS Floating Light Detection and Ranging (FLiDARs) buoys, one RPSTM Met and Wave buoy, and one subsea Current Meter mooring.
Lease OCS-A-0512: Equinor Wind US LLC (formerly Statoil Wind US LLC) submitted a Site Assessment Plan (SAP) to BOEM in June, 2018, with revisions filed in July, August and October 2018. BOEM determined the SAP was complete on August 22, 2018.
On September 8, 2011, BOEM received an unsolicited request from the New York Power Authority (NYPA), Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), and Consolidated Edison (ConEd) for a commercial lease from NYPA. The proposal includes the installation of up to 194, 3.6 megawatt (MW) wind turbines, yielding a potential 700 MW of wind energy generation. A copy of the application is available below:
- NYPA Project Application and Lease Request
- Letter Amending NYPA's Lease Request
- Map of NYPA’s Proposed Lease Area
On Jan. 4 2013, BOEM issued a Request for Interest in the Federal Register under Docket ID: BOEM-2012-0083 to assess whether there are other parties interested in developing commercial wind facilities in the same area proposed by NYPA. In addition to inquiring about competitive interest, BOEM also sought public comment on the NYPA proposal, its potential environmental consequences, and the use of the area in which the proposed project would be located.
- Public comments and indications of interest received can be viewed here.
- BOEM received indications of interest from Fishermen’s Energy, LLC and Energy Management, Inc.
Call for Information and Nominations
After reviewing nominations of interest received in response to the Request for Interest, BOEM determined that competitive interest in the area proposed by NYPA exists, and initiated the competitive leasing process pursuant to 30 C.F.R. 585.211. Subsequently, on May 28, 2014, BOEM published a “Call for Information and Nominations” (Call) to seek additional nominations from companies interested in commercial wind energy leases within the Call area offshore New York (see map below). BOEM also sought 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. Materials relating to the “Call” are below:
- New York Call for Information and Nominations
- Map Showing the New York Call for Information and Nominations Area
- Map Showing the New York Call for Information and Nominations Area with a NOAA Nautical Chart Background
- New York Call for Information and Nominations Area Boundary Coordinates
- GIS File of the New York Call Area
- Public comments received in response to the Call
- Commercial Nominations of Interest
Proposed Sale Notice
BOEM published a “Proposed Sale Notice (PSN) for Commercial Leasing for Wind Power on the Outer Continental Shelf Offshore New York” in the Federal Register on June 6, 2016, which includes a 60-day public comment period ending on August 5, 2016..
- Proposed Sale Notice
- Map of the Proposed New York Commercial Lease Area
- Map of the Proposed New York Commercial Lease Area on Nautical Chart
- Proposed Commercial Lease OCS-A 0512
- Bidders Financial Form
Correspondence Referenced in the PSN
- Coast Guard letter, September 2015
- National Park Service letter, December 2015
- New York State Historic Preservation Office letter, October 2015
Final Sale Notice
On October 27, 2016, BOEM announced the publication of the Final Sale Notice (FSN) for a lease sale offshore New York and the availability of a revised environmental assessment for site assessment and site characterization activities in the area. The lease area is located 11.5 nautical miles (nm) from Jones Beach, NY. From its western edge, the area extends approximately 24 nautical miles southeast at its longest portion. The project area consists of 5 full OCS blocks and 143 sub-blocks. Materials related to the FSN are below:
- Final Sale Notice
- Map of New York Lease Area
- New York Lease Area Overlaid on a Nautical Chart
- Commercial Lease OCS-A 0512
- Bidders Financial Form
- Alternate Bidding Form
- Reservation of Limited Opportunity to Revoke Form
- Electronic Payment Instructions
- Response to Comments
- Auction System Technical Supplement (ASTS)
- New York Auction Format Frequently Asked Questions
On November 18, 2016, BOEM held a seminar to educate bidders on changes to the auction format announced in the Final Sale Notice. A recording of the seminar is available through this link: www.boem.gov/New-York-Auction-Education-Seminar/.
On December 15-16, 2016, BOEM held a lease sale (i.e., auction) for an area offshore New York, referred to as the “New York lease area.” The auction lasted 33 rounds. Statoil Wind US LLC, which bid just under $42.5 million was the winner of lease area OCS-A 0512. A summary of the bidding results can viewed at: www.boem.gov/Bid-Summary-ATLW-6/.
The commercial wind energy lease was signed and executed by BOEM on March 15, 2017.
Environmental Review and Wind Energy Area Identification
BOEM published a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA) on May 28, 2014. 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 and/or buoys) within the proposed area. Through the NOI, BOEM sought public input on the environmental and socioeconomic issues to be considered, as well as alternatives and mitigation measures. The NOI and public comments are provided below.
- Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Assessment
- Public Comments Responding to NOI (July 2014)
On March 16, 2016, the Department of the Interior announced that BOEM has identified a Wind Energy Area (WEA) offshore New York. Additional information about BOEM’s decision can be found below.
- Announcement of Area Identification – Commercial Wind Energy Leasing on the Outer Continental Shelf Offshore New York
BOEM published an EA for a 30-day public comment period on June 6, 2016. In response to stakeholder requests, BOEM extended the public comment until July 13, 2016.
After reviewing comments received on the environmental assessment, BOEM decided to remove five aliquots (about 1,780 acres) from the WEA due to environmental concerns over sensitive habitat on Cholera Bank. In a comment letter, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) identified the Cholera Bank feature as a sensitive habitat to be avoided for the placement of site assessment structures. As a result of this removal, the revised lease area is approximately 2% smaller than the lease area considered in the initial environmental assessment and Proposed Sale Notice.
BOEM has undertaken a project to develop visual simulations of a hypothetical wind energy facility on the Outer Continental Shelf offshore Long Island, NY. Additional information on the study can be found here.