US DOI checking interest for S Carolina offshore wind zones
Map of the Call Areas off Couth Carolina. Source: www.doi.gov
The US Interior Department (DOI) has taken steps to weigh the offshore wind industry's interest in acquiring commercial leases for four areas off South Carolina of about 1,167 square nautical miles in total.
On Monday, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) issued a Call for Information and Nominations with which it also seeks comments on site conditions, resources and other uses in and near the selected areas. The zones on the Outer Continental Shelf have been delineated as Grand Strand, Cape Romain, Winyah and Charleston.
“We know South Carolina has important wind energy potential, and we will work with stakeholders through a collaborative effort to identify high potential/low conflict areas for development, supporting investment and jobs in South Carolina,” said US Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell.
In addition to the call announced Monday, the BOEM is publishing a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA), seeking public comment for determining significant issues and alternatives to be analysed in the EA. The call and the EA-related notice will be open for public comments for 60 days starting today.
BOEM's offshore programme has awarded nine commercial wind energy leases in federal waters off Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey.