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Oregon Wind Energy Areas

Environmental Assessment for Commercial Wind Lease Issuance on the Pacific Outer Continental Shelf

Learn about the National Environmental Policy Act process for the Oregon Draft Environmental Assessment and how to provide public comment.

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Welcome to the Oregon Environmental Assessment (EA) Virtual Meeting Room. Your participation is an essential part of BOEM’s renewable energy program.  

Information in this virtual meeting room is intended to provide you with useful information and background to engage with us throughout the Oregon offshore wind commercial leasing environmental review process. We hope this information helps inform your comments and answers any questions you might have on our process.

On May 1, 2024, BOEM published the Notice of Availability of the draft Environmental Assessment for Commercial Wind Lease Issuance on the Pacific Outer Continental Shelf, Oregon along with a 30-day comment period to solicit public input. In response to stakeholder request, the comment period is extended two weeks. The environmental assessment (EA) is part of the formal environmental review process under the National Environmental Policy Act. BOEM is preparing an EA to consider the environmental consequences associated with issuing commercial wind leases in the Oregon 

Learn how BOEM and NOAA use a multi-phase, public process to tackle the complicated task of identifying potential areas for offshore renewable energy development.

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Wind Energy Areas (WEA), and to consider associated site characterization activities (i.e., biological, archeological, geological, and geophysical surveys and core samples) and site assessment activities (i.e., installation of meteorological buoys) offshore Oregon. The Coos Bay WEA is 61,204 acres and located approximately 32 miles (mi) from shore. The Brookings WEA is 133,808 acres and approximately 18 mi off the coast.  

We will be hosting an additional virtual meeting where you can learn more about the EA, ask questions about the NEPA process, and provide oral testimony.  Meeting information and how to provide comments is available under the “Environmental Assessment” tab. 

The public comment period for the draft EA ends on June 14 2024 8:59 PM Pacific Time/11:59 PM Eastern. 

The following documents are available for your viewing:

More information is available on the Oregon Activities page.

 

Learn about the National Environmental Policy Act process for the Oregon Draft Environmental Assessment and how to provide public comment.

Video disponible en español

Public comment period is open! Oregon Draft Environmental Assessment and Appendices: Environmental Assessment for Commercial Wind Lease Issuance on the Pacific Outer Continental Shelf, Oregon.

BOEM is seeking public input regarding the content of the EA. The environmental impacts of any proposed wind energy projects will be assessed after a lease is issued and before BOEM decides whether or not to approve any lessee’s project construction and operations plan (COP). These impacts would be assessed through a COP submission by the lessee and subsequent BOEM review. Comments can be submitted on regulations.gov (preferred), in writing, or during the public meeting:

You may submit written comments of any length electronically using Regulations.gov, docket No. BOEM-2023-0065.  Tips to provide helpful comments can be found on this page: https://www.boem.gov/renewable-energy/state-activities/boem-renewable-energy-how-comment-0. Comments must be submitted by 8:59 PT/11:59 PM ET on June 14, 2024.

  • You may also submit written comments by mail. Enclose your comment in an envelope labeled, “Oregon Draft EA” addressed to “Environmental Analysis Section Manager, Office of Environment, Pacific Regional Office, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, 760 Paseo Camarillo, Ste. 102, Camarillo, California 93010.” Comments must be postmarked no later than May 31, 2024.
  • During the virtual public meeting, you may provide oral comment. BOEM will limit such comment to two to five minutes per speaker depending on the number of speakers. Any speaker who wishes to provide more information than the  minutes allowed is encouraged to do so as a written comment.  

Public Meeting: BOEM will host two virtual meetings for stakeholders to learn more about the EA, ask questions, and provide comments on the content of the EA:

Wednesday, June 5, 2024 
4:00 pm (Pacific Time) 

On February 14, 2024, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), to analyze potential impacts of possible wind energy-related leasing, site assessment, and site characterization on the U.S. Pacific Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) off the coast of Oregon.  

As part of this scoping process, BOEM asked stakeholders, organizations, Federal agencies, and Tribal, State, and local governments to submit comments on the scope of the EA, including environmental issues and the identification of reasonable alternatives that should be considered in the EA.  The environmental impacts of any proposed wind energy projects will be assessed after a lease is issued and before BOEM decides whether or not to approve any lessee’s project construction and operations plan.  The public comment period for scoping ended on March 15, 2024. Comments are available at regulations.gov under Docket No. BOEM-2023-0065. 

The following documents are available for your viewing:

Oregon planning area map
Offshore Wind Energy Planning Area Offshore Oregon

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 BOEM-Oregon offshore wind planning efforts can be found on the Oregon Offshore Renewable Energy factsheet and on the BOEM Oregon Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force and BOEM and State of Oregon Participation in Standing Meetings webpages.

Related Announcements

Call for Information and Nominations 

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 

In response to the Call, BOEM received nominations of areas of interest from 4 developers. Each of the parties listed below has been legally, technically and financially qualified.

Draft Wind Energy Areas

On Aug.15, 2023, BOEM announced a 60-day public comment period on two draft Wind Energy Areas (WEAs) located in the existing Call Areas offshore southern Oregon. The draft WEAs cover approximately 219,568 acres offshore southern Oregon with their closest points ranging from approximately 18 – 32 miles off the coast. 

BOEM used a comprehensive process to identify the draft WEAs as potential offshore locations that appear most suitable for floating offshore wind energy leasing and potential development, taking into consideration possible effects to local coastal and marine resources and ocean users. In addition to coordinating with the State of Oregon, BOEM collaborated with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) to use an ocean planning model that seeks to identify and minimize conflicts.

During the comment period, BOEM held an intergovernmental renewable energy task force meeting, an informational fishing webinar and in-person public meetings on the Oregon coast to discuss data used to inform the draft wind energy areas and next steps. 

Virtual Oregon Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force Meeting 

Informational Fishing Webinar (fishing data focus):  

  • Agenda
  • Thursday, September 21, 2023: 5:00 pm – 8:00 p.m. 

In-person public open house meetings:  

  • VENUE CHANGE - Gold Beach, Oregon: Tuesday, September 26, 2023
    Gold Beach Community Center
    29841 Airport Way  
    4:00p.m. – 8:00 p.m.  
     
  • Coos Bay, Oregon: Wednesday, September 27, 2023
    Coos Bay Public Library, Myrtlewood Room 
    525 Anderson Avenue 
    4:00p.m. – 8:00 p.m.  
     
  • Brookings, Oregon: Thursday, September 28, 2023
    Southwest Oregon Community College - Curry Campus, Commons Room
    96082 Lone Ranch Pkwy  
    4:00p.m. – 8:00 p.m.  

BOEM accepted public comments at the in-person open house and virtual meetings. Comments received during the comment period informed designation of final WEAs for further analysis and review for possible offshore wind energy leasing.  BOEM extended the comment period through 11:59 pm ET on October 31, 2023. To view comments on the draft WEAs please go to regulations.gov, docket number BOEM-2023-0033.

Draft Wind Energy Area Public Meeting Handouts

Maps

Visual Simulations

News Release: BOEM Finalizes Wind Energy Areas in Oregon

Oregon Wind Energy Areas

The proposed Brookings Wind Energy Area consists of 133,792 acres and is located approximately 18 miles from shore. The proposed Coos Bay Wind Energy Area consists of 61,203 acres and is located approximately 32 miles from shore. The Brookings WEA is 133,792 acres and  approximately 18 mi off the coast. If fully developed, the Final WEAs could support 2.4 GW of energy production.  

Oregon Map

BOEM used a comprehensive process to identify the potential offshore locations that appear most suitable for floating offshore wind energy leasing and potential development, taking into consideration possible impacts to local coastal and marine resources and ocean users. BOEM coordinated with the State of Oregon and collaborated with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) to use an ocean planning model that seeks to identify and minimize conflicts.

Maps

Visual Simulations

BOEM Renewable Energy Whiteboard
BOEM Renewable Energy Whiteboard