Initiative to Speed Offshore Wind Development

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar launched a “Smart from the Start” wind energy initiative for the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf to facilitate siting, leasing and construction of new projects, spurring the rapid and responsible development of the renewable resource.

“The Cape Wind lease is an historic milestone in America’s renewable energy future, but to fully harness the economic and energy benefits of our nation’s vast Atlantic wind potential we need to implement a smart permitting process that is efficient, thorough, and unburdened by needless red tape,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.

“Our ‘Smart from the Start’ Initiative for Atlantic wind will allow us to identify priority Wind Energy Areas for potential development, improve our coordination with local, state, and federal partners, and accelerate the leasing process,” Salazar noted. “If we are wise with our planning, we can help build a robust and environmentally responsible offshore renewable energy program that creates jobs here at home.” The accelerated leasing process is being simplified through a regulatory change, enabling leases to be issued in 2011 and 2012.”

Director Bromwich said BOEMRE is proposing a revision to its regulations that will simplify the leasing process for offshore wind in situations where there is only one qualified and interested developer. The revision eliminates a redundant and therefore unnecessary step, and will potentially save up to 6-12 months in the leasing process.

“We believe the regulatory change we are proposing, along with our efforts to identify priority Wind Energy Areas offshore, will result in a more efficient and coordinated permitting process for offshore wind,” said Bromwich.

Wind Energy Areas (WEA) are offshore locations that appear most suitable for wind energy development. Data would continue to be collected for these high priority areas to inform government and industry assessments and planning, allowing a more efficient process for permitting and siting responsible development.

Key aspects of the Atlantic Wind ‘Smart from the Start’ initiative are modeled on successful efforts that are helping to launch major solar energy projects on U.S. public lands in the West, including a ‘Smart from the Start’ approach that designated solar energy study areas, conducted early environmental reviews, and is coordinating state and federal permitting processes for large-scale solar projects.

The state-federal task forces set up in eight of these states are identifying areas with generally bountiful wind energy and relatively fewer potential environmental and use conflicts than other offshore areas. Salazar also established the Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy Consortium with 11 coastal state governors earlier this year.

Under the ‘Smart from the Start’ initiative, BOEMRE will work with state partners to identify WEAs off the coasts of a number of Atlantic states, including Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Virginia, Rhode Island and Massachusetts within the next 60 days.

By January 2011, Requests for Interest and Calls for Information will be issued for these new WEAs to support lease sale environmental assessments. Maryland’s Request for Information has already been issued and those for New Jersey, Virginia, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts are being developed. Additional WEAs will be identified in 2011 for other Atlantic States, which may include areas offshore New York, Maine, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.

BOEMRE will assist in developing site assessment data and evaluating potential WEA leasing. In January 2011, BOEMRE will initiate a NEPA environmental assessment to evaluate the potential impacts associated with site assessment activities in identified WEAs. In addition, there will be rapid and close coordination with other federal agencies to compile existing site assessment data.

If no significant impacts are identified in WEAs, BOEMRE would offer leases in these areas by the end of 2011/early 2012. Developers will still need appropriate and comprehensive site-specific NEPA review of individual projects. BOEMRE will work directly with project proponents to ensure that those reviews take place on aggressive schedules with frequent interagency communications and dedicated staff.

To address the need for transmission infrastructure to bring this offshore power ashore, BOEMRE will move forward aggressively, on a parallel track, to process applications to build offshore transmission lines. The identification of wind energy areas should assist the siting and feasibility reviews associated with potential offshore transmission lines.
 

Maritime Reporter September 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Offshore

Partners Deliver Modular Floating Tidal Energy Platform

A group of offshore companies, including Bluewater, Damen and Van Oord among others, has partnered for a floating tidal energy platform a project to generate clean electricity,

Statoil Invests $1.5b in US Offshore Project

Statoil together with co-owners in the Stampede development in the Gulf of Mexicohas sanctioned the Stampede project in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Statoil said it will invest $1.

Experimental Floating Wind Farm Nears Installation

Launched in March 2012, the Fukushima experimental offshore floating wind farm project sponsored by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is nearing the installation

Environmental

Two Great Lakes Toxic Hotspots Restored

EPA announces removal of two toxic hotspots on Lake Superior and Lake Michigan from binational list The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that two U.

CMA CGM to Retrofit 10 More Bulbous Bows

The CMA CGM Group said it will retrofit 10 of its vessels’ bulbous bows to achieve improved energy efficiency for slow steaming. The modifications are in addition

Vale CEO: Coal Deal Soon

Brazilian mining company Vale SA is close to making a "strategic" announcement concerning its coal unit, the company's chief executive Murilio Ferreira said on

Government Update

Rep. Cummings Receives Maritime Service Award

On Wednesday, October 29, Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD) delivered keynote remarks at APL Maritime’s Senior Management Conference, and received an award

Two Great Lakes Toxic Hotspots Restored

EPA announces removal of two toxic hotspots on Lake Superior and Lake Michigan from binational list The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that two U.

First Libra Offshore Oil Well Confirms Discovery

Libra consortium reports that drilling the first well in the area extension of Libra, the 3-BRSA-1255-RJS (3-RJS-731), confirmed the discovery of good quality

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1280 sec (8 req/sec)