The Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has already started taking public comment in connection with a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA) for potential offshore wind development near Oahu, Hawaii.
The first scoping meetings were being held July 19 and July 20 in Honolulu, Hawaii and Waianae, Hawaii respectively. A third meeting is scheduled July 21 in Waialua, Hawaii.
The notice was published in the Federal Register on June 24, 2016, and BOEM will accept public comments for 45 days (ending on Aug. 8), BOEM said in a news release issued July 8.
“Please note that the issuance of these notices is a very early step in BOEM’s offshore wind process, and BOEM has not yet determined whether it would be appropriate to issue commercial wind leases in all or part of the areas included in the Call,” the BOEM said. “Stakeholder comments and input will be critical to informing BOEM’s decision-making process moving forward.”
BOEM indicated in June that it was studying plans to move forward with possible leasing of wind power development areas offshore of Oahu in Hawaii, with the bureau already having three offers in hand from two private developers for projects in that area.
The BOEM has had the U.S. Department of Energy do an analysis of the employment and economic potential for floating offshore wind in Hawaii. The study examined two scenarios: 400 MW of offshore wind installed by 2050 and 800 MW of offshore wind installed by 2050.
Hawaii has set a goal to go 100% renewable energy by 2045.