Federal bureau readies Atlantic Ocean wind leasing off Virginia

The Interior Dept.’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) plans to publish in the July 23 Federal Register the Final Sale Notice (FSN) on a commercial wind energy lease on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) offshore of Virginia.

BOEM is offering Lease OCS-A 0483 for sale using an ascending clock auction format. The lease area comprises the Virginia Wind Energy Area (WEA) described in a Call for Information and Nominations (Call) published in February 2012.

The lease area is identical to that announced in the Proposed Sale Notice (PSN) for Commercial Leasing for Wind Power on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Offshore Virginia, which was published on Dec. 3, 2012, in the Federal Register with a 60-day public comment period.

The issuance of the lease resulting from this announcement would not constitute an approval of project-specific plans to develop offshore wind energy, the agency noted. Such plans, expected to be submitted by the lessee, will be subject to subsequent environmental and public review prior to a decision to proceed with development.

BOEM will hold a mock auction for the eligible bidders on Aug. 28. The monetary auction will be held online and will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Sept. 4.

Potential bidders should be aware of the following three unsolicited nominations under consideration by BOEM, situated within or near the Virginia WEA.

  • Atlantic Grid Holdings LLC Right of Way (ROW) Grant Request: On March 31, 2011, Atlantic Grid Holdings submitted an unsolicited application for a ROW grant. Following publication of a notice to determine competitive interest in the grant area and a 60-day public comment period, BOEM published its determination of no competitive interest on May 15, 2012.
  • Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) Research Lease Request #1: On June 1, 2012, the DMME submitted an unsolicited nomination for a research lease for the siting of two meteorological ocean and environmental monitoring platforms. BOEM announced the availability of a Request for Competitive Interest. No indications of competitive interest were submitted in response to the request, and a Notice of a Determination of No Competitive Interest was published on March 15.
  • Virginia DMME Research Lease Request #2: On Feb. 8, the DMME submitted an unsolicited nomination for a research lease for the siting of two 6-MW wind turbines for demonstration and research purposes. The research lease request nominates six subblocks to the west of the Virginia WEA for this purpose, in OCS Blocks 6061 and 6111. The nomination is under BOEM review.

BOEM has determined that the following companies are legally, technically, and financially qualified and are therefore eligible to participate in this lease sale as bidders.

  • Apex Virginia Offshore Wind LLC;
  • Virginia Electric and Power d/b/a Dominion Virginia Power;
  • Energy Management Inc.;
  • EDF Renewable Development Inc.;
  • Fishermen’s Energy LLC;
  • Sea Breeze Energy LLC;
  • Orisol Energy US Inc.
About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.