April 9 (Renewables Now) - The US government on Friday proposed an auction for two more commercial offshore wind lease areas off Massachusetts covering an area of almost 390,000 acres (158,000 ha).
The specific zones, namely OCS-A 0502 and OCS-A 0503 in federal waters on the outer continental shelf, are of 248,015 acres and 140,554 acres, respectively. The US Department of the Interior announced in a press release on Friday that a Proposed Sale Notice (PSN) will be issued so as to affirm the "continued interest" from developers who have already been qualified for commercial wind development off Massachusetts, and gather qualification materials from prospective bidders that have not yet been qualified for a wind lease sale in the state.
The PSN is expected to be published in the Federal Register on April 11, with comments to be accepted within a 60-day period. The time and date of the lease sale will be announced later in a Final Sale Notice.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will hold public events to provide more details on the proposed competitive process.
“The proposed sale area has tremendous offshore wind energy potential and the responsible development of it continues to play a big role in the Administration’s America-First Offshore Energy Strategy,” said Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke.
BOEM has so far awarded 13 commercial offshore wind leases. There are wind energy leases off every state from Massachusetts to North Carolina. Last week, the agency said it is assessing all waters off the US Atlantic coast for potential future offshore wind lease locations.