Trump Administration Proposes Sale for Strong Wind Energy Off Massachusetts Lower Atlantic
ATLANTIC STRONG – WASHINGTON, DC: 4.6.2018 – In support of the President’s “America-First Offshore Energy Strategy,” U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke today announced the proposed lease sale for two additional areas offshore Massachusetts for commercial wind energy leasing, totaling nearly 390,000 acres.
“The Trump Administration supports an all-of-the-above energy policy and using every tool available to achieve American energy dominance. The proposed sale area has tremendous offshore wind energy potential and the responsible development of it continues to play a big role in the Administration’s America-First Offshore Energy Strategy,” said Secretary Zinke. “This area represents the Department’s willingness to listen to stakeholder feedback, including the fishing community, and make the right adjustments.”
A Proposed Sale Notice (PSN) for Commercial Leasing for Wind Power on the Outer Continental Shelf Offshore Massachusetts will be published in the Federal Register on April 11, 2018, and will include a 60-day public comment period.
This document provides detailed information concerning the area available for leasing, the proposed lease provisions and conditions, auction details (e.g., criteria for evaluating competing bids and award procedures) and lease execution. Comments received electronically or postmarked by the end of the public comment period will be made available to the public and considered before the publication of the Final Sale Notice, which will announce the time and date of the lease sale. For information on how to submit comments, visit https://www.boem.gov/Massachusetts/.
“The proposed sales that we are announcing today are the result of extensive work with our partners in the Commonwealth and with a broad community of engaged stakeholders, including fishing communities,” said Interior Counselor for Energy Policy, Vincent DeVito. “Together, we identified areas that can support a large-scale commercial wind project, while minimizing the impacts to fishing habitats, marine species, and other uses of the OCS.”
The PSN requests public comments on the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) proposal to auction two lease areas offshore Massachusetts for potential commercial wind energy development. Lease OCS-A 0502 consists of 248,015 acres and Lease OCS-A 0503 consists of 140,554 acres.
In addition, the PSN requests the following from potential bidders: (1) affirmation of continued interest from any prospective bidders already qualified for commercial wind energy development offshore Massachusetts, and (2) submission of the required qualification materials from any prospective bidders that BOEM has not previously qualified for a Massachusetts lease sale.
“This Administration’s bold vision for our energy future is reflected in its commitment to a diverse energy portfolio,” said BOEM Acting Director Walter Cruickshank. “We have come a long way, and I look forward to working with all of our partners and stakeholders in achieving a balanced approach to offshore wind development.”
BOEM will host a public seminar to describe the auction format, explain the auction rules and demonstrate the auction process through meaningful examples. It will be followed by a public meeting on BOEM’s planning and leasing efforts regarding Massachusetts offshore wind energy activities. The time, venue, and related materials for the seminar and public meeting will be posted online at https://www.boem.gov/Massachusetts/.
Today’s announcement reinforces the Administration’s commitment to an “all-of-the-above” energy portfolio that ensures an energy-secure future. Renewable energy, including offshore wind, is part of this strategy. To date, BOEM has awarded 13 commercial offshore wind leases with wind energy leases off every state from Massachusetts to North Carolina.