BOEM Completes Environmental Analysis for Proposed Offshore Wind Project

Source: 2/26/2024, Location: North America

In support of the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has completed its environmental review of the proposed New England Wind project offshore Massachusetts. BOEM estimates the proposed project would generate up to 2,600 megawatts (MW) of electricity, enough to power more than 900,000 homes with clean, renewable energy.

“Diverse public input was essential to BOEM’s careful and thorough analysis of the environmental impact of the proposed New England Wind project,” said BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein. “This document demonstrates the administration’s steady progress towards attaining clean energy goals that will better the lives of Americans now and in the future.”

Since the start of the Biden-Harris administration, the Department of the Interior has approved the nation's first six commercial-scale offshore wind energy projects. BOEM has held four offshore wind lease auctions, which have brought in almost $5.5 billion in high bids, including a record-breaking sale offshore New York and New Jersey and the first-ever sales offshore the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico coasts. BOEM has also advanced the process to explore additional opportunities for offshore wind energy development in the Gulf of Maine, Gulf of Mexico, and offshore Oregon and the Central Atlantic coast. The Department has taken steps to evolve its approach to offshore wind to drive towards union-built projects and a domestic-based supply chain.

Bidenomics and the President’s Investing in America agenda are growing the American economy from the middle out and bottom up – from rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, to driving over half a trillion dollars in new private sector manufacturing and clean energy investments in the United States, to creating good-paying jobs and building a clean energy economy that will combat the climate crisis and make our communities more resilient.

The New England Wind project is located about 20 nautical miles (nm) south of Martha’s Vineyard, MA, and about 24 nm southwest of Nantucket, Mass. Park City Wind, LLC submitted a two-phased project plan that includes up to 129 wind turbine generators (WTGs), with up to five offshore export cables that would transmit electricity to onshore transmission systems in the Town of Barnstable and Bristol County, Mass.

The “Notice of Availability of a Final Environmental Impact Statement for Park City Wind LLC’s Proposed New England Wind Farm Offshore Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York” will publish in the Federal Register on Mar. 1, 2024.

The final environmental impact statement (Final EIS) analyzes the potential environmental impacts of the activities laid out in the New England Wind project’s construction and operations plan and reasonable alternatives. The Final EIS is available on BOEM’s website.

BOEM plans to issue a record of decision on whether to approve the project no earlier than April 2024. If the project is approved, the record of decision will also identify any conditions of approval.

On Dec. 23, 2022, BOEM published a draft EIS, initiating a 60-day public comment period that closed Feb. 21, 2023. BOEM held three virtual public meetings to solicit additional feedback on the draft EIS from Tribal Nations, local community members, commercial fishing interests, and other ocean users. BOEM considered the 776 comments received when developing the Final EIS, a critical step in the environmental review of the project.

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