Energy policy update us atlantic offshore wind leasing plan up for comment thermal electricity how it works


U.S. ocean energy regulators have extended a deadline for public comment on a proposed path forward for offshore renewable energy leasing on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s "Proposed Path Forward for Future Offshore Renewable Energy Leasing on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf" lists factors the agency proposes to consider in identifying areas for possible future offshore wind leasing.

On April 6, 2018, BOEM published a Request for Feedback in the Federal Register, presenting the agency’s "Proposed Path Forward for Future Offshore Renewable Energy Leasing on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf." In that notice, the agency said it is conducting a high-level assessment of all waters offshore the United

Atlantic OCS." Its proposed factors for identifying offshore wind forecast areas include exclusionary factors (which create "no-go" areas for offshore wind) and positive factors (increasing the likelihood that location would fall within a forecast area). Under BOEM’s proposal, exclusionary factors would include areas prohibited by the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act for leasing, Department of Defense conflict areas, and charted marine vessel traffic routes. Positive factors for an areas include that it has not previously been removed, is greater than 10 nautical miles from shore, is shallower than 60 meters in depth, is adjacent to states with offshore wind economic incentives or with an interest in identifying additional lease areas, or where industry has expressed interest.

BOEM says this "Atlantic assessment is intended to inform future area identification processes, not replace them" — so after reviewing comments it receives, BOEM will coordinate with its intergovernmental renewable energy task forces and conduct additional stakeholder outreach.

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