US BOEM Launches Calls for Information and Nominations for Offshore Wind Zones in the Mid Atlantic and Off Oregon – Renewable Energy


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On April 27, 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) issued two separate calls for information and nominations (calls) for potential lease areas for offshore wind energy development in the central Atlantic (Central Atlantic Call) and off Oregon (Oregon Call). Publication of these Calls at Federal Register is scheduled for April 29, 2022 and will launch a 60-day public comment period, ending at 11:59 p.m. ET on June 28, 2022.

Mid Atlantic Call

The Central Atlantic Call seeks information on six distinct areas of the Central Atlantic comprising nearly 3.9 million acres, which are depicted in the map below.


The closest point to the shore of either area is approximately 20 nautical miles off the central Atlantic coast. (Additional information about the Mid Atlantic call can be found on BOEM’s Mid Atlantic webpage.) It is important to note that parts of two of the areas (Areas D and F) lie within the limits of the upcoming offshore lease moratorium, as former President Trump’s September 2020 memorandum provides: “I hereby opt out of the lease provision for 10 years, commencing July 1, 2022 and ending on June 30, 2032: That portion of the area designated by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management as the Mid-Atlantic Planning Area that lies south of the North Carolina North Administrative Boundary,” the administrative boundary depicted on the map of administrative boundaries of the Federal Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) NAD Atlantic NAD 83. Therefore, BOEM can go ahead with planning and analysis of all areas of the Central Atlantic call, but it will only be not e n able to issue new leases in parts of Zones D and F until the moratorium is lifted or ends.

Oregon Call

The Oregon Call is requesting information for two areas that together represent approximately 1.158 million acres, which are shown on the map below. The two areas – the Coos Bay Call Area and the Brookings Call Area – begin approximately 12 nautical miles from shore at their closest points off the coasts of central and southern Oregon, respectively. For more information on the call, including a map of the zones and commentary instructions, see BOEM’s Oregon webpage.


And after

Although these are very important milestones for the development of offshore wind on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, the appeal phase is still at the beginning of the BOEM planning process. It initiates the commercial leasing process, further assesses commercial interest in areas, and solicits feedback from interested and affected parties. Based on the feedback received, BOEM will move forward with the Zone Identification (Zone ID) process, which identifies acreage within Call Zones that is suitable for commercial wind rental and development. The area identification process allows the BOEM to identify specific wind energy areas (WEAs) to be further analyzed and areas to be explicitly excluded from WEAs for various reasons, including environmental factors.

Related activity

In its April 27 announcement, BOEM also noted that over the past year, the Biden-Harris administration and the Department of the Interior have kickstarted the U.S. offshore wind industry by endorsing and celebrating the inauguration of the country’s first two commercial-scale offshore wind projects at the federal level. waters. The Department of the Interior also held a record New York Bay auction and announced plans to hold potentially up to seven new offshore lease sales by 2025. To that end, May 11 2022, BOEM will auction two lease areas in Carolina. Long Bay area.

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This article by Mayer Brown provides information and commentary on interesting legal issues and developments. The foregoing is not a complete treatment of the subject matter covered and is not intended to provide legal advice. Readers should seek specific legal advice before taking any action regarding the matters discussed here.

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