US reviews 4000 MW east coast wind project proposals

US reviews 4000 MW east coast wind project proposals

3-Jan-2023 Source: BOEM

As part 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) announced the availability of two draft Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) for offshore wind projects for public review and comment. The Coastal Virginia Wind (CVOW) project and the Sunrise Wind project, if approved, could provide over 4,000 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind energy capacity, enough to power over 1.3 million homes.

These projects represent the fourth and fifth projects at this stage of regulatory review by BOEM. In addition to today’s action, the Department of the Interior has approved what will be the nation’s first two commercial scale offshore wind projects, initiated review on an additional ten projects, and held three offshore wind lease auctions.

“BOEM is committed to President Biden and Secretary Haaland’s vision for a clean energy future – one that will combat climate change, create good-paying union jobs, and ensure economic opportunities are accessible to all communities. Central to that is the comprehensive and rigorous review of projects,” said BOEM Director Amanda Lefton. “As BOEM continues to make unprecedented progress, we will continue to work collaboratively with our Tribal, state, and local government partners to harness the transformative potential of U.S. offshore wind, while avoiding or minimizing potential impacts to marine life and other ocean users.”

The proposed CVOW commercial project offshore Virginia Beach could provide up to 3,000 MW of energy, enough to power at least 1 million homes. The proposed Sunrise Wind project offshore New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island could provide up to 1,034 MW of energy, enough to power at least 350,000 homes.

Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind 

The CVOW draft EIS can be found on BOEM’s website, and the Notice of Availability for the draft EIS will publish in the Federal Register on Dec. 16, which will open a 60-day public comment period that will end on Feb. 14, 2023. The input received via this process will inform preparation of the final EIS.

Dominion Energy submitted a Construction and Operation Plan (COP) for its proposal to develop a wind energy project that includes up to 205 wind turbine generators (WTGs) and their associated offshore and onshore export cables. The CVOW project is located on the U.S. outer continental shelf (OCS) approximately 24 nautical miles (nm) east of Virginia Beach, Virginia.

BOEM will use the findings of the EIS to inform its decision on whether to approve the CVOW COP, and if so, which mitigation measures to require.

During the comment period, BOEM will hold three virtual public meetings, where the public can learn more about the review process, the EIS schedule, potential impacts from the proposed CVOW project, and proposals to reduce potential impacts. There will also be an opportunity for participants to provide comments on the draft EIS. The public meetings will be held on the following dates and times (all times are Eastern):

  • Wed., Jan. 25, 2023 – 5:00 pm
  • Tues., Jan. 31, 2023 – 5:00 pm
  • Thurs., Feb. 2, 2023 – 11:00 am

A virtual meeting room will be on BOEM’s website starting on Dec. 16, 2022. It will be available throughout the 60-day comment period and will include information about the draft EIS, as well as how to register for the virtual public meetings and provide comments.

More information on the proposed CVOW project can be found on BOEM’s website: https://www.boem.gov/renewable-energy/state-activities/CVOW-C.

Sunrise Wind 

The Sunrise Wind draft EIS can be found on BOEM’s website, and the Notice of Availability for the draft EIS will publish in the Federal Register on Dec. 16, which will open a 60-day public comment period that ends on Feb. 14, 2023. The input received via this process will inform preparation of the final EIS.

Sunrise Wind LLC submitted a COP for its proposal to develop a wind energy facility that includes up to 94 WTGs and their associated export cables. The WTGs and offshore substation would be approximately 16.4 nm south of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, approximately 26.5 nm east of Montauk, New York, and 14.5 nm from Block Island, Rhode Island. The onshore export cables, substation, and grid connection would be located in Holbrook, New York.

BOEM will use the findings of the EIS to inform its decision on whether to approve the Sunrise Wind COP, and if so, which mitigation measures to require.

During the comment period, BOEM will hold three virtual public meetings, where the public can learn more about the review process, the EIS schedule, potential impacts from the proposed Sunrise Wind project, and proposals to reduce potential impacts. There will also be an opportunity for participants to provide comments on the draft EIS. The public meetings will be held on the following dates and times (all times are Eastern):

  • Wed., Jan. 18, 2023 – 5:00 pm
  • Thurs., Jan. 19, 2023 – 5:00 pm
  • Mon., Jan. 23, 2023 – 1:00 pm

A virtual meeting room will be on BOEM’s website starting on Dec. 16, 2022. It will be available throughout the 60-day comment period and will include information about the draft EIS, as well as how to register for the virtual public meetings and provide comments.

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