The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will for the first time conduct a regional environmental review of six offshore wind lease areas off the coast of New York and New Jersey in an area known as the New York Bight.
You may recall, the six lease areas were awarded during an offshore wind lease sale held in February which brought in over $4.3 billion in winning bids—a record high amount in the U.S. not just for offshore wind, but also oil and gas.
The review will mark the first time BOEM will conduct a regional analysis containing multiple lease areas for offshore renewable energy. Additional environmental analysis specific to each proposed wind energy project will build off the regional review once BOEM receives individual Construction and Operations Plans (COPs) from the leaseholders.
“The Biden-Harris administration is committed to unlocking the economic potential of offshore wind as a part of combating the climate crisis before us,” said BOEM Director Amanda Lefton. “This new regional approach is an evolution of our process to help ensure timely decisions that advance offshore wind while protecting the ocean environment and marine life. In addition, this approach ensures both a comprehensive view of the New York Bight area and improved process efficiencies for future project reviews.”
In total, BOEM intends to hold seven offshore wind lease sales by 2025, including two already held earlier this year and one planned for waters off the coast of California later this year. In June, BOEM announced it will conduct an environmental review of the first proposed wind energy project for waters off Maryland.
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