US govt to open public sessions in search of new offshore wind sites

Offshore wind farm. Author: Beverley Goodwin. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic

April 28 (Renewables Now) - US regulators will be seeking public input on the possible opening of eight new zones for offshore wind development, in waters off Oregon and the Central Atlantic coast.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) said on Wednesday it will publish two calls for information and nominations in order to solicit information on site conditions, marine resources, and ocean users near the specific areas. The aim will be to identify potential use conflicts before designating the areas.

The list includes six areas in the Central Atlantic covering close to 3.9 million acres, and two zones off the Oregon coast. Dubbed the Coos Bay Call Area and the Brookings Call Area, the Oregon sites span roughly 1.16 million acres and cover areas off the coast of central and southern Oregon, respectively.

Companies will be also able to nominate other areas that could be suitable for offshore wind turbine installation.

The two calls will be published in the federal register on April 29. Public comments will be accepted over a 60-day period ending June 28.

The administration of President Joe Biden has a target for the US to deploy 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030. Earlier this year, the New York Bight offshore wind sale was completed, becoming the country’s highest-grossing competitive offshore energy lease sale, including oil and gas lease sales.

A total of seven offshore wind lease sales are planned to be held by 2025. An auction for two wind energy lease areas offshore the Carolinas that could accommodate at least 1.3 GW is due to be held in May.

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Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.

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