Bureau works on Maryland offshore wind lease sale

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will publish in the Dec. 18 Federal Register a notice of a proposed offshore wind lease sale off of Maryland.

The area described for leasing in the notice is the same as the area described in a February 2012 Maryland Call for Information and Nominations.

In February 2012, BOEM published the Notice of Availability for the final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for commercial wind lease issuance and site assessment activities on the Atlantic outer continental shelf (OCS) offshore of New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia.

In May 2012, BOEM initiated consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service for geological and geophysical activities in support of oil and gas exploration and development, renewable energy, and marine minerals in the Mid- and South-Atlantic Planning Areas. Formal consultation concluded with receipt of a Biological Opinion dated July 19, 2013. The Biological Opinion, along with the previous informal consultation, informed the development of this proposed sale of commercial wind leases offshore of Maryland.

Additional environmental reviews will be prepared upon receipt of a lessee’s proposed project-specific plans.

In March 2011, Atlantic Grid Holdings LLC submitted an unsolicited application for a Right-of-Way grant on the OCS. The bureau said that potential bidders should be aware that the unsolicited application is under consideration by BOEM, and that a portion of the project is proposed to be situated within the Maryland Wind Energy Area (WEA).

In the upcoming sale, BOEM will offer two leases. Approximately 32,737 acres will be offered for sale in one block and about 46,970 acres in the other.

The bureau will take comment for 60 days after the Dec. 18 publication of the notice and will host a public information seminar.

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.