The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced today the publication of its Final Rule to extend time requirements for submitting a Site Assessment Plan (SAP) or a General Activities Plan (GAP) for renewable energy development on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).
Effective 30 days after Federal Register publication, all OCS renewable energy lessees and grantees will have 12 months from lease or grant issuance in which to submit a SAP or GAP. Previously, BOEM regulations required lessees and grantees to submit a SAP or a GAP either 60 days after BOEM determined there was no competitive interest in the lease or grant, or six months after the lease or grant was issued competitively.
"Renewable energy is an important part of our nation's energy strategy," said BOEM Director Tommy P. Beaudreau. "To help foster diligent and responsible offshore renewable energy development, BOEM is making practical adjustments to these planning requirements in order to provide reasonable timeframes for the thorough preparation of these planning documents that are fundamental steps in ensuring that offshore wind projects are designed properly."
A SAP contains a lessee's detailed proposal for the installation of a meteorological tower or buoy on its lease for the purpose of obtaining site-specific resource data. A GAP describes a developer's proposed renewable energy construction activities (e.g., the installation of a meteorological tower, transmission cable or a substation) on a limited lease, a right-of-way grant, or a right-of-use-and-easement grant.
In 2013, BOEM published this proposed rule in the Federal Register to solicit public comments, which can be viewed by going to www.regulations.gov and searching for Docket ID No. BOEM-2012-0077.