The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said in a notice to be published in the Dec. 9 Federal Register that there was no competitive interest shown in the area requested by the Virginia Department of Mines Minerals and Energy (DMME) for an Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) research lease.
The Bureau had published a notice seeking interest on July 30. DMME has asked to acquire an OCS lease for renewable energy research activities, including wind turbine installation and operational testing and installation of metocean monitoring equipment on the OCS off the coast of Virginia. This area is off of the city of Virginia Beach.
Besides expressions of interest, the Bureau also solicited public comment from interested stakeholders about the proposed lease area and the proposed DMME research project and any potential impacts from the project. In response, it received public comment submissions from five entities, which the Bureau will use to inform subsequent decisions. After the publication of this Dec. 9 notice, the Bureau may proceed with the research leasing process.
The objective of the DMME proposal is to design, develop, and demonstrate a grid-connected 12-MW offshore wind test facility. The proposed research lease area consists of six OCS sub-blocks (an OCS subblock is 1,200 meters by 1,200 meters in area). The six sub-blocks requested by DMME are located immediately adjacent to the western edge of the Virginia Wind Energy Area.