BOEM Completes Environmental Analysis for Proposed Offshore Wind Project
WASHINGTON — The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced Monday that it has completed its environmental review of the proposed Empire Wind Farm Project offshore New York.
With that critical step down, the agency said it will publish the proposed project’s final Environmental Impact Statement in the Federal Register on Sept. 15.
Empire Wind is a proposed utility scale offshore wind farm on the Outer Continental Shelf that, if approved, will be located in a bureau lease area in the New York Bight, about 15 miles south of Jones Beach, Long Island.
According to the developer, the first phase of the project is expected to have 816 MW in capacity generated by 57 wind turbines.
The second phase of the project, which will be located about 16.9 miles east of Long Branch, New Jersey, is expected to be composed of up to 90 wind turbines capable of generating 1,284 MW for a total of 2.1 GW of power.
The developer estimates that when both phases of the project are completed it will be able to power over 1,000,000 homes in New York. BOEM estimated the New York portion of the project alone would power about 700,000 homes.
“BOEM is doing its part to meet the administration’s ambitious energy goals — while remaining diligent in our efforts to avoid, minimize and mitigate impacts to ocean users and the marine environment,” said BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein in a written statement.
“We value the feedback we have received from tribal nations, local community members, commercial fishing interests and other ocean users in our process,” Klein said.
The final EIS analyzes the potential environmental impacts of the activities laid out in Empire Wind, LLC’s Construction and Operations Plan. The final EIS is available on BOEM’s website.
On Nov. 14, 2022, the agency published a draft EIS, initiating a 60-day public comment period, which closed on Jan. 17, 2023.
It also held three virtual public meetings to solicit additional feedback on the draft EIS from tribal nations, local community members, commercial fishing interests and other ocean users.
The agency received a total of 180 comments from tribal nations; federal, state and local government agencies; nongovernmental organizations; and the public during the comment period.
BOEM plans to issue a Record of Decision on whether to approve the project and, if so, identify conditions of approval later this fall.