Government Policy & Regulation
On March 30, 2018, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced its Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Construction and Operations Plan (COP) submitted by Vineyard Wind LLC (Vineyard Wind) that would allow it to construct and operate an 800 megawatt (MW) wind energy facility offshore Massachusetts.
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority has coordinated on behalf of the State all the work being conducted by New York State agencies in the development of offshore wind resources. As part of its leadership role, NYSERDA spearheaded the development of the New York State Offshore Wind Master Plan, a comprehensive roadmap that encourages the development of offshore wind in a manner that is sensitive to environmental, maritime, economic, and social issues while addressing market barriers and aiming to lower costs.
Maine Gov. Paul R. Lepage has issued an order establishing the Maine Wind Energy Advisory Commission to study economic impacts of potential wind turbines, assess the economic impact of expedited wind rules and procedures, and develop recommendations in a written report. Until the report is issued in writing, no permits related to wind turbines are permitted. The order notes that "the scenic vistas and pristine waters of Western Maine, our coast and coastal islands, and our significant avian migratory pathways attract significant tourism to the State."
New Hampshire's Rep. Cushing has introduced HB 1611 which would establish a committee to study off-shore wind energy development.
This letter submits an Area for Consideration for BOEM's Area Identification Process. Within the Area for Consideration, BOEM is urged to expediciously identify at least four new Wind Energy Areas (WEA), each capable of supporting at lease 800 MW, and to conduct lease auctions for these WEAs.
New York State submitted maps to BOEM of the four Wind Energy Areas within the Area for Consideration. As part of its Offshore Wind Master Plan, New York State began with over 16,000 square miles of area called the Offshore Study Area. The Area of Consideration represents approximately ten percent of the original Offshore Study Area, refined through a rigorous process.