Public Comment Sought on Offshore Wind Research Lease

May 8, 2023 by Dan McCue
Public Comment Sought on Offshore Wind Research Lease
University of Maine’s VolturnUS floating concrete hull technology (University of Maine)

WASHINGTON — The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is seeking public comment on the possible issuance of an offshore wind energy research lease in the Gulf of Maine.

Under the leadership of Democratic Gov. Janet Mills and with bipartisan support from the state legislature, Maine has been advancing the development of what the lawmakers refer to as “responsible” offshore wind development.

Toward that end the governor and legislature jointly established the Maine Offshore Wind Research Consortium, tasking it to examine and better understand the local and regional impacts of floating offshore wind energy projects in the Gulf of Maine.

As part of that effort, the state wants to develop a research site about 20 nautical miles off the coast of Maine, roughly southeast of Portland.

If developed, the research project would comprise up to 12 floating offshore wind turbines capable of generating up to 144 megawatts of renewable energy.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is seeking public comment as part of its developing an Environmental Assessment for the proposal. The comment period extends to 11:59 p.m. on June 5.

“BOEM appreciates the value of research demonstration projects to advance floating wind technology,” said agency director Elizabeth Klein in a written statement. 

“The tribes, states, ocean users and stakeholders in the Gulf of Maine have valuable expertise on the issues facing this region, and we look forward to collaborating and working with everyone as we move forward,” Klein said.

In March, BOEM issued a Determination of No Competitive Interest for the requested research lease. The request for comment is a significant next step for processing the research lease application. 

Public comments may be submitted online and by mail.

The online route entails a visit to Regulations.gov, the federal government’s official commenting website. 

Once at www.regulations.gov commenters are asked to enter “BOEM-2023-0031” in the field titled “Enter Keyword or ID.” From there, follow the instructions to submit public comments and view supporting and related materials available for this notice.

Comments can also be sent to: Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Office of Renewable Energy Programs, 45600 Woodland Road, Mail Stop VAM-OREP, Sterling, VA 20166.

The Bureau will host a two-day Gulf of Maine Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force meeting later this week in Bangor, Maine. 

The purpose of the meeting, which is being held May 10-11, is to update Task Force members and the public on the agency’s commercial and research offshore wind energy planning activities and to discuss next steps for the Gulf of Maine. 

Opportunities for public comment will occur on both days of the meeting.

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue

 

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  • Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
  • floating wind turbines
  • Gulf of Maine
  • Maine
  • Maine Offshore Wind Research Consortium
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