- Empire Wind Receives a NOI from BOEM
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced that the Empire Wind Project will undergo an environmental review for their Construction and Operations Plan (COP). If approved, Empire Wind would be permitted to construct and operate two wind energy facilities consisting of up to 174 turbines offshore New York and New Jersey, thereby generating over 2,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity.
The publication of the NOI opens a 30-day public comment period to help BOEM define the scope of the EIS. Public input obtained during the comment period will be used to inform the preparation of the EIS. The public comment period for the proposed project extends through 11:59 p.m. EST on July 19, 2021.
BOEM’s virtual scoping meetings on Empire Wind will be held at the following dates and times (EST):
- Wednesday, June 30, 2021; 5 p.m.
- Thursday, July 8, 2021; 5 p.m.
- Tuesday, July 13, 2021; 1 p.m.
Registration for the virtual public meetings may be completed here: https://www.boem.gov/Empire-Wind-Scoping-Virtual-Meetings
- Proposed Sale Notice for 8 Leases within the New York Bight
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has issued a Proposed Sale Notice (PSN) for eight leases within the New York Bight. The PSN contains information pertaining to the areas available for leasing, certain provisions and conditions of the leases, auction details, lease forms, criteria for evaluating competing bids, award procedures, appeal procedures, and lease execution. The announcement opens a 60-day comment period where BOEM will host virtual meetings to share updates on BOEM’s renewable energy leasing process, provide an overview on how the proposed lease areas were chosen and discuss new lease stipulations that BOEM is considering in the proposed New York Bight auction. More information can be found on the announcement website.
- NYSERDA Publishes Offshore Wind Submarine Cabling Overview
NYSERDA has published the Offshore Wind Submarine Cabling Overview document following over a year of drafting and review with the F-TWG. The document provides an overview of offshore wind submarine power cable types, installation and burial methods, and operations and maintenance. This document also summarizes potential impacts cables might have on the commercial fishing industry, as well as how commercial fishing practices might impact cables, and potential measures to avoid, minimize, or mitigate these impacts, including site assessment, risk assessment, project planning and design, and proper cable installation and burial methods. Although this report doesn’t suggest an optimal cable burial depth for future projects, it does serve as a comprehensive summary on the cable planning and burial process.
- BOEM releases NOI to prepare an EIS on the Revolution Wind Project
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has released a notice of intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the Revolution Wind Project. If approved by BOEM, Revolution Wind is permitted to construct and operate an 880-megawatt (MW) wind energy facility offshore Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The publication of the NOI opens a 30-day public comment period.
Three public scoping webinars have been scheduled to allow the general public to learn more about the Project and to provide an opportunity for input. The three webinars are scheduled:
- Thursday, May 13, 5:30 p.m.
- Tuesday, May 18, 5:30 p.m.
- Thursday, May 20, 1:00 p.m.
Registration and more information on the Project can be found on the BOEM webpage.
- Ørsted and Eversource to develop foundation parts factory in Rhode Island
Joint venture partners Ørsted and Eversource are establishing a manufacturing facility for offshore wind foundation components at ProvPort in Rhode Island, United States. The new 228-foot long facility will be used for advanced fabrication and assembly of foundation platforms for the companies’ offshore wind projects in Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York. More information on the facility as well as details on their Project Labor Agreement (PLA) with the Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council can be found here.
- Fairways North and South withdrawn from 2021 New York Bight Lease
BOEM withdrew two New York Bight wind energy areas from consideration for 2021 leasing, citing potential conflicts with maritime traffic, fishing, and views from Long Island. The State of New York requests wind farms to be at least 18 miles from shore, and the Fairways are only 15 miles from shore. There are still eight wind energy areas up for leasing in the 2021 bid process within the New York Bight.
- NMFS Recommendations for Mapping Essential Fish Habitats
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has published recommendations to BOEM on mapping Essential Fish Habitats to refine developer’s benthic surveys and data collection. The recommendations include additional information for each step in the mapping process, includes details on sampling frequency, and incorporates recommendations for mapping inshore habitats, such as submerged aquatic vegetation.
- ROSA Issues Request for Proposal for Fisheries Resource Data Project
The Responsible Offshore Science Alliance (ROSA) requests proposals from qualified contractors to develop a report with recommendations for standardizing and sharing fisheries resource data. The report will aim to support better understanding of the impacts of offshore wind development on ecosystems. More information on the project and directions to apply can be found on the ROSA website. The deadline for proposals is May 11th, 2021.
- BOEM NY Bight Task Force Meeting
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will be hosting an upcoming virtual meeting of the Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force for the New York Bight on April 14 & 16, 2021.
The meeting will focus on the following topics:
- Introducing the New York Bight Wind Energy Areas and Environmental Assessment
- Providing an overview of and seeking in-depth feedback on the Proposed Sale Notice and related auction format
- Updating the Task Force on recent state activities
Registration and more information on this upcoming meeting can be found on their website.
- BOEM Advances Offshore Wind Development in the New York Bight
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) identified nearly 800,000 acres as Wind Energy Areas (WEAs) in the New York Bight, between Long Island and the New Jersey coast. The agency will now initiate an environmental review, with public input, on these areas in federal waters for potential offshore wind leasing. Maps and more information on these WEAs and offshore wind development within the New York Bight can be found on the agency’s website.
- New Hampshire Offshore Wind Bill
New Hampshire Senators are working on a bill to request proposals from Developers for 600 MW of offshore wind to the state. The bill comes from state Sen. David Watters, a Dover Democrat. His proposal would have New Hampshire work with utilities such as Eversource to request developer proposals for 600 megawatts of offshore wind, and up to 200 megawatts more of wind or other renewables such as hydropower or biomass.
- UK Lessons in Supply Chain Webinar
The Maine Governor’s Energy Office is holding a webinar on UK Lessons in Supply Chain on March 30. This webinar will be held by UK Government and Carbon Trust, in partnership with the State of Maine and the Maine International Trade Center, on the offshore wind supply chain.
- Congressional Offshore Wind Caucus
Four coastal U.S. Representatives have formed the Congressional Offshore Wind Caucus, including Congresswoman Elaine Luria, Congressman Jeff Van Drew, Congressman Jimmy Panetta, and Congressman Salud Carbajal. This bipartisan group aims to develop solutions to address the offshore wind industry’s challenges, promote workforce development, and advocate for policies that will strengthen our economy and improve the environment.
- Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need – South Fork Wind
The South Fork Wind Farm received a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need from the New York State Public Service Commission, giving it state approval to land a cable in Wainscott and connect to the grid. This announcement is a huge step for the authorization of construction and operations for the South Fork Wind Farm- a 132 MW proposed project for the State of New York.
- Massachusetts OSW Solicitation
The State of Massachusetts announced a third round of bidding for up to 1,600 MW of offshore wind power. New bids must beat the prices of the last two rounds (each around 800 MW) and are due in September. The anticipated date for the execution of contracts is March 28, 2022.
- 2021 Fishing Season Forecast Webinar
The National Fisherman will be hosting a free webinar on Thursday, March 18th, 2021, 4 p.m. ET/ 1 p.m. PT. The panel discussion will incorporate the latest science and data, vaccine schedules, best practices, and predictions for the 2021 domestic fishing industry and market landscape. For more information and registration, see the National Fisherman website.
- Learning from the Experts Webinar March 24: Siting and Leasing Offshore Wind Energy Areas
NYSERDA’s Offshore Wind Team will be hosting a new, educational Learning from the Experts webinar series that will feature independent experts speaking on key offshore wind topics – including wind farm technologies, development practices, regulatory processes, and research initiatives.
Please join us on Wednesday, March 24 at 1:00 p.m. ET for the first webinar in this series and hear from Luke Feinberg of the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) as he discusses the federal process of siting and leasing offshore wind energy areas. Luke is an Energy Program Specialist in BOEM’s Office of Renewable Energy Programs and is currently working to coordinate all renewable activities offshore New York.
To register, see the event website.
- BOEM Releases FEIS for the Vineyard Wind Project
BOEM has published the Vineyard Wind Final Environmental Impact Statement. More information on Vineyard Wind as well as the Construction and Operations Plan (COP) is provided on the BOEM website.
- $200 million New Jersey Port Upgrade
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy committed to spend $200 million to upgrade a new port in South Jersey to serve offshore wind projects. Governor Murphy states that the significant investment by New Jersey is a clear signal that it is a place where it wants to locate manufacturing operations. The state hopes to attract manufacturers to provide the cables, foundations and other necessary components of an offshore wind farm to the 200-acre site.
- New London Community Agreement
Developers Eversource and Ørsted signed a host community agreement with the city of New London, CT, ending a year-long stalemate. The agreement allows the use of State Pier to develop Revolution Wind, South Fork Wind, and Sunrise Wind.
Governor Lamont announced the agreement makes Connecticut’s role as a leader in the offshore wind industry official, with New London now poised to become the premier commercial east coast hub for this sector and our state set to become a leader in the transition to renewable energy and the fight against climate change.
- ME Offshore Wind Fisheries Working Session
The State of Maine’s first Fisheries Work Session is scheduled for March 10, 5:30-7:30pm. The fisheries-focused work sessions are aimed to gather input and data from members of the commercial and recreational fishing industry and will focus on fishing activity and fisheries habitat.
- The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council Meeting
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council will hold various meetings over the week of March 1 through March 5th. Council Session I on March 1, 2021 from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. will include a presentation on the Kitty Hawk Offshore Wind Project. More information and registration is available here.
- New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to host a technical conference on offshore wind transmission on March 12
- NY and NJ U.S. Representatives Urge for Jump-Start in New York Bight Offshore Wind Development
A group of 25 U.S. Representatives from New York and New Jersey urged BOEM director Amanda Lefton to “jump-start the offshore wind leasing process” in New York Bight.
New York and New Jersey “would see more high-paying jobs, new sources of tax revenue, and massive capital investments as a result of new leasing and subsequent offshore wind development and construction in the New York Bight,” the representatives wrote, estimating that from 2025 to 2030, construction within the New York Bight could support 32,200 jobs a year, $3.3 billion in annual wages, and $183 million in annual state tax revenue.
- Request for Qualifications: Regional Wildlife Science Entity
NYSERDA and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) are officially announcing the Regional Wildlife Science Entity for Offshore Wind (RWSE) Request for Qualifications (RFQL) in collaboration with the Interim Steering Committee. The RFQL can be found here and will be open until March 11.
In order to successfully advance environmentally responsible offshore wind power development activities in U.S. waters, this fiscal agent will financially manage multi-sectoral, regional collaboration and science around offshore wind and wildlife for the East Coast of the United States.
- New York Announces Offshore Wind Awards
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the largest combined renewable energy awards ever by a state in the U.S., further cementing the State’s leadership in combatting climate change and growing the clean energy economy.
These unprecedented procurements resulted in two offshore wind projects, Empire Wind 2 and Beacon Wind, and 24 large-scale land-based clean energy projects, totaling more than 4,700 megawatts – enough new renewable capacity to power almost 2 million New York homes for at least 20 years.
- New York Offshore Wind Public Webinar
On February 10th, NYSERDA will be holding a public webinar on offshore wind updates in New York. The webinar will provide details on the two recently-awarded offshore wind projects, Empire Wind 2 and Beacon Wind, as well as updates on new studies, ongoing research, stakeholder engagement, and the National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium.
Date: Wednesday, February 10
Time: 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. EST
- ABS to Class U.S. First Offshore Wind Farm Service Operation Vessel
Maritime classification society ABS will class the first U.S.-flagged Jones Act offshore wind farm service operation vessel (SOV) ever ordered.
The vessel, ordered last year, will be engineered, constructed, and operated by Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO) for long-term charter to service the planned Revolution Wind, South Fork Wind, and Sunrise Wind offshore wind farms in the northeast United States.
- 10-year Moratorium on Offshore Wind Projects in Maine Waters
Maine Governor Janet Mills proposed a 10-year moratorium on new offshore wind projects in state waters. It would not affect research areas further offshore, or the already-permitted New England Aqua Ventus demonstration project.
- Biden Administration Executive Order to Double Offshore Wind Power
President Biden signed an Executive Order that includes doubling offshore wind power generation in U.S. federal waters by 2030. In doing so, President Biden aims to “tackle the climate crisis at home and abroad while creating good-paying union jobs and equitable clean energy future, building modern and sustainable infrastructure, restoring scientific integrity and evidence-based policymaking across the federal government, and re-establishing the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology”.