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U.S. Interior Department Proposing New Regulations to Streamline Offshore Wind Energy Development

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland speaks during the groundbreaking ceremony at the point where power from the Vineyard Wind commercial offshore scale windfarm will come ashore in Centerville, Massachusetts, U.S., November 18, 2021. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

U.S. Interior Department Proposing New Regulations to Streamline Offshore Wind Energy Development

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 732
January 18, 2023

The federal agency responsible for managing energy resources on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf is proposing new regulations to streamline offshore wind energy development.

The U.S. Department of the Interior is announcing that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will publish a proposed rule to update regulations that would “modernize regulations, streamline overly complex and burdensome processes, clarify ambiguous provisions and enhance compliance provisions in order to decrease costs and uncertainty associated with the deployment of offshore wind facilities.”

BOEM says the proposed reforms are estimated to save developers approximately $1 billion over a 20 year period.

“America’s clean energy transition is happening right here and now. Offshore wind will power our communities, advance our environmental justice goals and stimulate our economy by creating thousands of good-paying union jobs across the nation,” said Secretary Deb Haaland. “Updating these regulations will facilitate the safe and efficient development of offshore wind energy resources, provide certainty to developers and help ensure a fair return to the U.S. taxpayers.”

The proposed regulations come 13 years since current regulations were first promulgated. During this period, BOEM has conducted 11 auctions and now manages 27 active commercial leases. “Based on this experience, the Department has identified opportunities to modernize its regulations to facilitate the development of offshore wind energy resources to meet U.S. climate and renewable energy objectives,” BOEM said in a statement.

The proposed rule contains eight major components, including:

  • Eliminating unnecessary requirements for the deployment of meteorological buoys
  • Increasing survey flexibility
  • Improving the project design and installation verification process
  • Establishing a public Renewable Energy Leasing Schedule
  • Reforming BOEM’s renewable energy auction regulations
  • Tailoring financial assurance requirements and instruments
  • Clarifying safety management system regulations
  • Revising other provisions and making technical corrections

notice of proposed rulemaking will publish in the Federal Register in the coming days for a 60-day comment period

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