BOEM Advances Offshore Wind Near U.S. Territories

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 6/18/2024, Location: North America

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is seeking ideas for baseline environmental and socioeconomic studies to inform BOEM’s decisions on potential offshore wind energy activities in the U.S. territories, as well as information on entities in the U.S. territories that have the capabilities, expertise, and interest in carrying out environmental monitoring and conducting studies.

“BOEM develops, funds, and manages rigorous scientific research to ensure our decisions are informed by the best science and Indigenous knowledge available,” said Dr. Rodney Cluck, Chief of BOEM’s Environmental Studies Program. “Additional research focused on the U.S. territories will increase our understanding of these important areas, and the potential impacts of offshore wind energy development on their residents and resources.”

Today’s announcement follows the release of a new five-year plan for offshore wind leasing announced by Secretary Haaland in April.

Since the start of the Biden-Harris administration, the Department has approved the nation's first eight commercial scale offshore wind projects, held four offshore wind lease auctions – including a record-breaking sale offshore New York and the first-ever sales offshore the Pacific and Gulf Coasts, and advanced the process to establish additional Wind Energy Areas in Oregon, the Gulf of Maine and the Central Atlantic. Thus far, the Department has approved more than 10 gigawatts of clean energy from offshore wind projects — enough to power nearly 4 million homes. The Department has also taken steps to grow a sustainable offshore wind industry by encouraging the use of project labor agreements, strengthening workforce training, bolstering a domestic supply chain, and through enhanced engagement with Tribes, fisheries, underserved communities and ocean users.

To formally request ideas for baseline environmental and socioeconomic studies, the bureau has issued a request for Letters of Interest (LOI). BOEM is also issuing a Request for Information (RFI) to determine which entities in the U.S. territories have capabilities, expertise, and interest in performing environmental monitoring and studies in the U.S. territories.

The deadline for responding to the LOI and RFI is August 23, 2024.

BOEM is responsible for managing the development of U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) energy, mineral, and geological resources in an environmentally and economically responsible way. A critical component of BOEM’s mission is protecting the environment while overseeing the development of OCS resources. The bureau’s geographical responsibility increased substantially with the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022, which expanded the definition of the OCS and directed BOEM to consult with governments of the U.S. territories on the suitability and feasibility of offshore wind energy development. BOEM is using funds provided to the Department of the Interior by the IRA for the baseline environmental and socioeconomic studies in support of understanding the potential impacts from offshore wind energy development in the U.S. territories.

BOEM’s Environmental Studies Program?develops, funds, and manages rigorous scientific research specifically to inform policy decisions on the development of energy, mineral, and geological resources on the OCS, as required by law. This environmental and social science research is designed to provide BOEM the necessary information to assess, predict, monitor, and manage potential environmental impacts of the activities it authorizes.


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