Mid-Atlantic Coast Wind Development
For interested sailors, the lease parcels lie 8+ nautical miles off shore. The link to maps provides a good look at the potential distribution………. reprint from Maryland’s Chesapeake & Coastal Service News – March 2012.
OBAMA ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES MAJOR STEPS TOWARD LEASING FOR OFFSHORE WIND PROJECTS IN MID-ATLANTIC
Leasing Process for Commercial Wind Development Initiated for Offshore Maryland
Kentish Flats wind power farm, in sunset.
Photo by Vattenfall.
On February 2, 2012, the Department of Interior announced that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is moving forward with the process for wind energy lease sales off the coasts of Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey and Delaware. BOEM’s National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) assessment found that there would be no significant environmental and socioeconomic impacts from issuing wind energy leases in designated Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) areas off the mid-Atlantic Coast.
The environmental assessment considered potential environmental impacts associated with site assessment activities, such as geophysical, geotechnical, archeological and biological surveys and the installation and operation of meteorological towers and buoys. BOEM will use this environmental assessment to inform future leasing decisions in the Mid-Atlantic, including those emerging from BOEM’s recent Call for Information and Nominations (Call) for Maryland’s Wind Energy Area (WEA). Through this Call, BOEM is soliciting additional lease nominations and is requesting public comments about site conditions, resources and other existing uses of the WEA off the coast of Maryland. Once a lease is obtained and the developer proposes a wind energy generation project on its lease, BOEM will prepare a separate site- and project-specific analysis under NEPA of its construction and operations plan, and provide additional opportunities for public involvement.
The Call Area offshore Maryland contains nine whole OCS blocks and 11 partial blocks. A map of the area of interest can be found at: http://www.boem.gov/Renewable-Energy-Program/State-Activities/Maryland.aspx.
For more information on Maryland’s efforts to plan for offshore wind and to help the State to balance multiple uses in the ocean, visit http://dnr.maryland.gov/ccp/coastal_resources/oceanplanning.