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.