- Final Report for the RUCOOL 2021 Partners in Science Workshop
The Rutgers University Center for Ocean Observing Leadership (RUCOOL) and Rutgers Cooperative Extension (RCE) have issued the final report for the 2021 Partners in Science Workshop, which was hosted virtually on January 28, 2021. This workshop, Identifying Ecological Metrics and Sampling Strategies for Baseline Monitoring During Offshore Wind Development, included both a pre-workshop participant survey and “world café” format workshop discussions.
The survey and workshop aimed to gather community input to define the parameters required to quantify baseline ecological variability that will enable the evaluation of potential impacts from offshore wind development. The report details results from the pre-workshop survey, presentations from several workshop participants, and the multiple breakout sessions held during this half-day workshop.
- BOEM Extends Comment Period on Environmental Assessment for Proposed Wind Energy Leasing Offshore New York and New Jersey
- Sunrise Wind Scoping Meetings
BOEM is taking public comment on a Notice of Intent (NOI) to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Sunrise Wind project offshore New York. The updated September 3rd NOI, the August 31st NOI, and the Construction and Operations Plan (COP) are all available on the BOEM website.
During the public comment period, BOEM is asking for information that will help define issues and sources of information that should be considered in the EIS. BOEM is hosting three virtual scoping meetings where participants can learn more about the COP, ask questions, and provide oral testimony. The virtual meetings will occur on:
- Thursday, September 16, 2021; 5:30 p.m.
- Monday, September 20, 2021; 1:00 p.m.
- Wednesday, September 22, 2021; 5:30 p.m.
Meeting agendas and registration are available on the Sunrise Wind Scoping Meeting website.
- NJ DEP Offshore Wind Research Priorities Survey
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is seeking resource experts to take part in their offshore wind research priorities survey. New Jersey’s 2020 solicitation for offshore wind requires developers to commit $10K/MW to fund environmental and fisheries research. Responses should be submitted no later than 9/17/21 for consideration.
To access the questionnaire, visit the survey website.
- Port Access Route Studies Update & Map Data Webinar
Members of the public are invited to join a Port Access Route Studies Update & Map Data webinar on Sept. 14, at 10 a.m. In this special edition of the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal’s “How Tuesday” webinar series, presented in partnership with the Coast Guard and the Northeast Ocean Data Council, Coast Guard personnel will present information on findings, public comment opportunities and next steps for the PARS. In addition, demonstrations will be provided for publicly available tools and map data that can be used to explore the studies and their proposed routing measures in further depth. To register for this webinar, see the event website.
- E-TWG State of the Science Workgroup Final Reports
The final State of the Science workgroup reports are available on the NYSERDA Environmental Technical Working Group website.
Following plenary presentations in November of 2020 on the cumulative impacts to wildlife from offshore wind energy development, seven workgroups met over the winter to identify short-term research priorities for understanding offshore wind’s cumulative impacts on sea turtles, marine mammals, fishes, invertebrates, birds, bats, and oceanographic processes in the eastern United States. More than 200 people contributed their expertise to these discussions.
- Orsted Submits Skipjack 2 for Maryland Bid
- BOEM Publishes NOI for CVOWC Project
On July 1st, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) published a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Commercial Virginia Offshore Wind Commercial Project. The Notice of Intent initiates a 30-day public comment period that ends on August 2, 2021. During the public comment period, BOEM is hosting three public scoping meetings where participants may learn about the Project, ask questions, and share testimonies.
The virtual scoping meetings will be held on:
- Monday, July 12, 2021, 5:00 pm EST
- Wednesday, July 14, 2021, 1:00 pm EST
- Tuesday, July 20, 5:00 pm EST
For more information on the public comment period or attending a scoping meeting, see the BOEM website.
- Atlantic Shores and Ocean Wind 2 selected by New Jersey’s Board of Public Utilities
New Jersey’s Board of Public Utilities has selected both Atlantic Shores and Ørsted’s Ocean Wind 2 projects in its latest 2.7GW offshore wind solicitation. Both projects will use EEW foundation manufacturing facilities that will be constructed in Paulsboro, NJ and will invest $3.5 billion in the state.
- BOEM Publishes NOI for Vineyard Wind South Project
On June 30th, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) published a Notice of Intent (NOI) to conduct an Environmental Impact Statement for the Vineyard Wind South Offshore Wind Project. A 30-day comment period is in effect June 30th through July 30th with three public scoping meetings.
The virtual scoping meetings will be held on:
- Monday, July 19, 2021
5:30 PM ET
- Friday, July 23, 2021
1:00 PM ET
- Monday, July 26, 2021
5:30 PM ET
For more information on attending the scoping meetings, see the BOEM website.
- Monday, July 19, 2021
- NYSERDA Learning from the Experts: Digital Aerial Surveys to Inform Offshore Wind Development
On June 9th, NYSERDA held a virtual webinar on digital aerial survey technology. In this webinar, Julia Robinson Willmott with Normandeau Associates described the technology behind digital aerial surveys and how they can inform offshore wind development. Julia works to design, test, and deploy innovative technology systems for remote monitoring of wildlife, and she has over 30 years of experience in 23 different countries assessing both offshore and onshore ecological impacts of anthropogenic and natural stressors on birds and other taxa.
This webinar was part of the Learning from the Experts series hosted by NYSERDA’s Offshore Wind Team and featuring experts in key offshore wind topics, including wind farm technologies, development practices, regulatory processes, and research initiatives. More information on this webinar as well as available materials can be found on the NYSERDA website.
- 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.