Before a lessee may build an offshore wind energy facility on their commercial wind lease, they must submit a Construction and Operations Plan (COP) for review and approval by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) (see 30 CFR 585.620(C)). Pursuant to 30 CFR 585.626, the COP must include a description of all planned facilities, including onshore and support facilities, as well as anticipated project easement needs for the project. It must also describe the activities related to the project including construction, commercial operations, maintenance, decommissioning, and site clearance procedures. There are benefits to allowing lessees to describe a reasonable range of project designs in a COP, because of the project complexity, the unpredictability of the environment in which it will be constructed, and/or the rapid pace of technological development within the industry.
In the renewable energy industry, a permit application or plan that describes a reasonable range of project designs is referred to as taking a Project Design Envelope (PDE) approach. BOEM has decided that it will give offshore renewable energy lessees the option to use a PDE approach when submitting a COP. This draft guidance outlines the use of a PDE approach in a COP. This PDE approach is an entirely voluntary option.
Friday, January 12, 2018