BOEM Central Atlantic Final Wind Energy Areas Added to Portal
A map showing three final Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Central Atlantic Wind Energy Areas (WEAs) off the coasts of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia can now be viewed on the Portal.
The three WEAs total approximately 356,550 acres and, if fully developed, could support between four and eight gigawatts of energy production. The first WEA (A-2) is 101,767 acres and located 26 nautical miles (NM) from Delaware Bay. The second WEA (B-1) is 78,285 acres and about 23.5 NM offshore Ocean City, Maryland. The third WEA (C-1) is 176,506 acres and located about 35 NM from the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.
BOEM published its Notice of Intent to prepare an environmental assessment of potential impacts from offshore wind leasing in the WEAs in the Federal Register on Aug. 1, which initiated a 30-day public comment period ending Aug. 31. Another public comment period would occur if BOEM decides to move forward with a lease sale in any of the WEAs.
On Nov. 16, 2022, BOEM announced and requested public comment on eight draft WEAs on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf offshore North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware, covering approximately 1.7 million acres. The draft WEAs represented a subset of the original 3.9 million acres that the Department of the Interior identified for public comment in April 2022.
Users may compare the new areas to those shown in the May 2022 BOEM Central Atlantic Call for Information and Nominations map and November 2022 BOEM Draft Central Atlantic Wind Energy Areas map. The Final WEAs are also included in the BOEM Wind Planning Areas map. All of these map layers can be accessed by clicking on the “Planning and Lease Areas” dropdown in the Renewable Energy theme.
As part of BOEM’s ongoing coordination with the Department of Defense (DoD) and NASA, an in-depth review of WEA B-1, located roughly 30 miles from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, will continue to determine if their activities could co-exist with wind energy development. The results of the final in-depth assessment from DoD and NASA will be used to inform whether WEA B-1 should be included in a possible lease sale, which would be the next step in the wind energy process. If WEA B-1 is included in a proposed lease sale, any necessary mitigation would be identified to inform bidders in advance of a future sale.
For more information on the final WEAs and BOEM’s notice to prepare an environmental assessment, go to BOEM’s Central Atlantic activities web page.
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