BOEM Seeks Input through Feb. 12 on Proposed Central Atlantic Lease Sale Areas

Two areas in the Central Atlantic proposed by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) for offshore wind energy lease sales in 2024 can now be viewed in Marine Planner. The new BOEM Central Atlantic Proposed Lease Sale Areas of OCS-A 0557 (A-2) and OCS-A 0558 (C-1) 12/2023 map layer can be accessed in the Renewable Energy theme by clicking on the “Planning and Lease Areas” dropdown.

A map showing the two Central Atlantic proposed lease sale areasgend

The proposed lease sale includes one area offshore the states of Delaware and Maryland, and one area offshore the Commonwealth of Virginia. Lease Area A-2 consists of 101,443 acres and is approximately 26.4 nautical miles (NM) from Delaware Bay. Lease Area C-1 consists of 176,505 acres and is approximately 35 NM from the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. BOEM is seeking public comments on which, if any, of the two lease areas should be offered in a lease sale next year.

In July, BOEM announced three Central Atlantic Wind Energy Areas (WEAs), while indicating that WEA B-1 still needed more study. The proposed sale notice does not include WEA B-1, which is located approximately 23.5 NM offshore Ocean City, Maryland. BOEM has removed that WEA from this proposed lease sale due to the significant costs and mitigation that would be required. However, WEA B-1 may be considered as part of a potential second lease sale in the Central Atlantic, which could occur as soon as 2025.

The Proposed Sale Notice in the Federal Register contains information about the areas available for leasing, certain lease provisions and conditions, auction details, criteria for evaluating competing bids and procedures for lease award, appeals and lease execution. BOEM is seeking feedback through Feb. 12, 2024, on several lease stipulations that would reaffirm its commitment to create good-paying jobs and engage with ocean users and other stakeholders. Some of these potential stipulations include:

  • Providing bidding credits to bidders that commit to supporting workforce training programs for the offshore wind industry, developing a domestic supply chain for the offshore wind industry or a combination of both.
  • Providing bidding credits to bidders that establish and contribute to a fisheries compensatory mitigation fund or contribute to an existing fund to mitigate potential negative impacts from offshore wind development in the Central Atlantic to commercial and for-hire recreational fisheries.

In addition to today’s announcement, BOEM is preparing a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) to evaluate the potential environmental impacts from lease issuance within the Central Atlantic WEAs. The publication of the draft EA is forthcoming and will be available for review and public comment. More information on the Central Atlantic PSN can be found at BOEM’s Central Atlantic web page.

The Portal also houses three map layers showing the Central Atlantic wind areas in earlier planning stages for those who are interested in viewing them for comparison or analysis purposes. They are:

Questions? Email portal@midatlanticocean.org.

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