BOEM Seeks Comment on Proposed Energy Research

Posted by Michelle Howard
Thursday, March 13, 2014

As part of the Obama Administration's Climate Action Plan to create American jobs, develop domestic clean energy sources and cut carbon pollution, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced today that it is seeking public comment as it prepares an Environmental Assessment (EA) to analyze potential impacts from proposed wind energy research activities offshore Virginia.

The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) has requested a research lease and proposes to design, develop, and demonstrate a grid-connected, 12-megawatt (MW) offshore wind test facility on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) off the coast of Virginia. The proposed project area is located adjacent to the BOEM-designated Wind Energy Area (WEA) offshore Virginia, and will inform the future production of renewable energy within the WEA.

On March 14, 2014, BOEM will publish in the Federal Register a "Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Assessment" regarding the proposed project for a 30-day public comment period. Once published, BOEM will accept comments that are postmarked by April 14, 2014, via one of the following ways.

Electronically: Click on the "Open Comment Documents" link and follow the instructions to view relevant materials and submit comments.
In written form, deliver to:
Office of Renewable Energy Programs
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
381 Elden Street, HM 1328
Herndon, Virginia 20170-4817.

In addition to the request for written comments, BOEM will hold a public meeting to solicit comments on the scope of the EA. The meeting will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, April 3, 2014, at the following location:
Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center
717 General Booth Blvd
Virginia Beach, VA 23451

The proposed wind test facility offshore Virginia is one of seven proposed "Offshore Wind Demonstration Projects" for the nation's coasts that received U.S. Department of Energy funding awards in December 2012. The award was given to Dominion Resources, Inc., which partnered with DMME and others to establish the Virginia Offshore Wind Technology Advancement Project (VOWTAP). Dominion Resources was the winner of a recent commercial lease sale held for the Virginia WEA.

Before VOWTAP can install any facilities on the OCS, it must obtain BOEM approval. Therefore, DMME submitted a proposal to BOEM on Feb. 13, 2013, to install and operate two 6 MW turbines located about 24 nautical miles offshore Virginia with cables connecting to existing infrastructure located in the City of Virginia Beach.

As an initial step in BOEM's leasing process, BOEM published a "Public Notice of an Unsolicited Request for an OCS Research Lease, Request for Competitive Interest, and Request for Public Comment" in the Federal Register on July 30, 2013, to obtain public input on this research proposal, its potential environmental consequences, and the use of the area in which the proposed project would be located. BOEM also asked whether there were other entities interested in obtaining a renewable energy lease of the same scale within the same area identified by DMME that would support potential wind energy development.

In response to this notice, BOEM received five comments, none of which expressed competitive interest in the area proposed by DMME. Accordingly, BOEM published a "Determination of No Competitive Interest" in the Federal Register on Dec. 9, 2013, stating that it will proceed with the leasing process on a non-competitive basis. The decision cleared the way for DMME to submit a research activities plan.

A lease issued to DMME would be considered under BOEM's Finding of No Significant Impact and EA for Lease Issuance and Site Assessment Activities on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf Offshore New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. The EA for which BOEM is now seeking public comment will consider the reasonably foreseeable environmental consequences associated with the activities and facilities proposed in the research activities plan (e.g., installation and operation of turbines and cables).

VOWTAP represents DMME's second unsolicited request for a research lease offshore Virginia. DMME's first unsolicited request for a research lease is for a proposed project that would entail the installation of meteorological facilities within the Virginia WEA.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management promotes energy independence, environmental protection, and economic development through responsible, science-based management of offshore conventional and renewable energy resources.


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

People & Company News

Captain of Ill-fated El Faro was Known as Trusted Mariner

The captain of the ill-fated cargo ship that sank in a hurricane off the Bahamas with no survivors last week was an experienced and highly trusted mariner who had spent a lifetime on the water,

Cordero Reconfirmed as FMC Commissioner

Mario Cordero was reconfirmed today as a U.S. Federal Maritime Commissioner.   Cordero joined the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) as a Commissioner on June 3,

Chiarello: TOTE Continues Support to El Faro Families

Anthony Chiarello, President & CEO of TOTE, owner of the cargo ship presumed to have sunk with 33 mariners aboard last week amid Hurricane Joaquin, issued a statement


Urals Weakens Further in Baltic

Russian Urals crude differentials continued to slide in the Baltic on Thursday amid a flurry of activity with softer refining margins, pushed down by higher oil prices, still keeping buyers at bay.

Seadrill Hopes to See Market Turn in 2017

Offshore rig driller Seadrill is facing another two years in the doldrums but hopes the international rig market could turn around in 2017.   Rig rates have more

Eni Arctic Service Rig Extension Okayed

Italian oil company Eni has received permission from Norway's Petroleum Safety Authority to extend the use of a service rig on its troubled Arctic Goliat oil field offshore Norway until Nov.


Amid Commodity Crisis, LPG Emerges as Accidental Bright-spot

Liquefied Petroleum Gas, long a niche product used by the poor to cook and the rich to barbecue, has become a rare bright spot amid a broad commodities rout, riding

Collision Course with a Hurricane: How Doomed US Ship Met its End

The ill-fated U.S.-flagged El Faro cargo ship sunk by Hurricane Joaquin was sailing at near full speed into the center of the storm before it lost propulsion amid mountainous waves and brutal winds,

Cordero Reconfirmed as FMC Commissioner

Mario Cordero was reconfirmed today as a U.S. Federal Maritime Commissioner.   Cordero joined the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) as a Commissioner on June 3,

Government Update

Cordero Reconfirmed as FMC Commissioner

Mario Cordero was reconfirmed today as a U.S. Federal Maritime Commissioner.   Cordero joined the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) as a Commissioner on June 3,

White House Backs El Faro Investigation

President Barack Obama on Wednesday offered condolences to the families of the 33 sailors presumed to have lost their lives aboard cargo ship El Faro which is believed

Steel Cut on UK Navy’s Newest Warship

Construction has begun on a new warship for the U.K. Royal Navy as the Minister of State for Defense Procurement, Philip Dunne MP cut the first steel in Glasgow today.

Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Electronics Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
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: 0.2507 sec (4 req/sec)