On August 18th, the Department of the Interior announced two significant milestones in its efforts to advance offshore wind planning and leasing in the Gulf of Maine:
- Request for Interest (RFI) – first step in the commercial leasing process for the Gulf of Maine
- Request for Competitive Interest (RFCI) – Response to State of Maine research application
Related Press Releases
- Biden-Harris Administration Continues Offshore Wind Momentum, Announces Next Steps for Gulf of Maine (8/18/22)
- BOEM Announces Finding of No Competitive Interest for Commercial Wind Leasing Offshore Maine (December 18, 2012)
- Interior Announces Next Steps for Commercial Wind Leasing Offshore Maine (August 9, 2012)
- Salazar Launches 'Smart from the Start' Initiative to Speed Offshore Wind Energy Development off the Atlantic Coast (November 23,2010)
In January of 2019, Governor Christopher Sununu of the State of New Hampshire requested the establishment of an intergovernmental offshore wind renewable energy Task Force for the state. Given the regional nature of offshore wind energy development, BOEM has decided to establish a Gulf of Maine Task Force – including representation from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine and federally recognized Tribes in the area.
The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act requires BOEM to award renewable energy leases competitively, unless BOEM determines there is no competitive interest. In October 2011, BOEM received an unsolicited request for a commercial lease from Statoil North America Inc. (Statoil NA). BOEM reviewed the unsolicited lease application and determined that Statoil NA was legally, technically and financially qualified to hold a commercial lease on the Outer Continental Shelf. Click here for a map showing the area proposed by Statoil North America.
The next steps in BOEM’s renewable energy leasing process were to determine whether or not other companies were interested in developing the same area (i.e., to determine competitive interest) and to conduct an environmental review of the proposed project. So, on August 10, 2012, BOEM published the following public notices in the Federal Register:
- Potential Commercial Leasing for Wind Power on the Outer Continental Shelf Offshore Maine; Request for Interest under Docket ID: BOEM-2012-0003
- Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for Potential Commercial Wind Lease Issuance and Approval of Construction and Operations Plan Offshore Maine under Docket ID: BOEM-2012-0049
The comment period for the Request for Interest closed on October 9, 2012. BOEM received ten comments to the Request for Interest. The comment period for the Notice of Intent closed on November 8, 2012. BOEM received approximately 18 comments to the Notice of Intent.
On December 19, 2012, BOEM published a Notice of Determination of No Competitive Interest (DNCI) in the Federal Register (under Docket ID: BOEM-2012-0091), thereby announcing BOEM’s decision to proceed with a noncompetitive lease process for the proposed lease area offshore Maine. Since then, Statoil has withdrawn its lease request. There are no offshore renewable energy projects in Federal waters offshore Maine at this time.
BOEM coordinates Outer Continental Shelf renewable energy activities with its federal, state, local, and tribal government partners through the Maine 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.
- 2012 Public Information Session
- 2012 Task Force Meeting
- 2011 Task Force Meeting
- 2010 Task Force Meeting