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 Today

The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter November 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds


Ship Conversion: Offshore Survey Vessel to Become a Flotel

Dutch shipowner C-Bed has contracted Wärtsilä Ship Design to supply the design for rebuilding its Seismic Survey Vessel, the Viking II, for use as a hotel vessel

Deepwater Downturn: Bump in the Road or Long-Term Slowing of Growth?

IMA/World Energy Reports has just completed a comprehensiveassessment of the five year outlook for the deepwater sector.  The new report – the 19th annual floater

Tidal Energy from Deep and Slow Waters

Deep Green, an underwater kite construction from the Swedish company Minesto, is set to be deployed in 2017 at the Holyhead Deep site off the coast of Anglesey, Wales.


BWM Convention Doesn't Resolve U.S. Issues - ICS

ICS notes that the IMO Secretary General has announced that the Ballast Water Management Convention will enter into force worldwide from 24 November 2016, following

Ballast Water Management in the Field Put to the Test

Turner Designs, along with scientists from around the world participated in a research cruise aboard the RV Meteor, a vessel owned by the Federal Republic of Germany

Out of the Eye ... & Staying There

I have never been in a hurricane. That’s a fact. Actually, my wife likes to say that whenever there is any kind of natural disaster, I’m typically nowhere to be found.

Government Update

U.S. Ups Philippines Aid as South China Sea Turmoil Builds

The United States has raised its military aid to the Philippines this year to $79 million, the U.S. ambassador said on Wednesday, as tension rises in the region

Egypt to Complete East Port Said Side Channel in 2016

Egypt plans to complete a side channel in East Port Said, near the Suez Canal, that would speed up shipping and allow ships direct entry into the port by the end of June 2016,

BWM Convention Doesn't Resolve U.S. Issues - ICS

ICS notes that the IMO Secretary General has announced that the Ballast Water Management Convention will enter into force worldwide from 24 November 2016, following

Maritime Contracts Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | 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: 0.0856 sec (12 req/sec)