Interior bureau receives inquiry for floating offshore wind project in Hawaii

The Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has received a third unsolicited lease request for a floating wind energy project offshore Oahu, Hawaii, from a second applicant.

BOEM said March 8 that it has deemed the lease request from the second applicant, Progression Hawaii Offshore Wind as complete. BOEM said it has confirmed that the company is legally, technically, and financially qualified to pursue an offshore wind energy lease.

Typically, the first step after receiving an unsolicited lease request and verifying potential lessee qualifications is to publish a Request for Interest to determine if there is competitive interest in the areas requested. However, BOEM has determined that since two developers have submitted lease requests offshore Oahu, the next step will be to publish a Call for Information and Nominations in order to initiate the competitive planning and leasing process.

Receipt of an unsolicited lease request by BOEM is the earliest step in a process that includes environmental analysis and active stakeholder engagement.

BOEM has received a total of three unsolicited wind energy lease requests from two potential developers: two lease requests from AW Hawaii Wind, LLC (AWH), the AWH Oahu Northwest Project and the AWH Oahu South Project; and one from Progression Hawaii Offshore Wind, Inc. (Progression), the Progression South Coast of Oahu Project.

Each project proposes an offshore floating wind energy facility with a capacity of approximately 400 MW of renewable energy. The energy generated by the projects would be transmitted to Oahu by undersea cables.

Progression Hawaii Offshore Wind has proposed to lease an area approximately nine miles southeast of Barber’s Point in average water depths of 500-1,000 meters (1,640-3,280 feet). The proposed lease area is 77,440 acres (31,338 hectares).

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 granted BOEM authority to issue leases for renewable energy projects on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), which begins 3 nautical miles offshore the islands of Hawaii.

Unsolicited lease requests provide an avenue for developers to seek a federal lease for the development of renewable energy projects. Importantly, receipt of an unsolicited lease request by BOEM is the earliest step in a process that includes environmental analysis and stakeholder engagement.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.