BOEM Proposes 2.6 GW Offshore Wind Energy Areas off Oregon Coast

As part of the Biden-Harris administration’s objective to build 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030 and 15 GW of floating offshore wind by 2035, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has identified two draft Wind Energy Areas (WEAs) off the coast of Oregon.

The draft WEAs encompass around 219,568 acres offshore southern Oregon, with their closest points varying from about 18 to 32 miles off the coast, according to a news release from the BOEM on Tuesday. They would tap up to 2.6 GW of Oregon’s wind energy potential if approved.

The deep waters of the state’s coast, by the BOEM, present “significant opportunities for offshore wind deployment” and “opportunities to accelerate U.S. leadership in floating technologies” in the designated regions.

β€œAs BOEM works to identify potential areas for offshore wind development, we continue to prioritize a robust and transparent process, including ongoing engagement with Tribal governments, agency partners, the fishing community, and other ocean users”, BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein said. β€œAt the request of Oregon’s governor and other state officials, there will be a 60-day public comment period on the draft WEAs and BOEM will hold an intergovernmental task force meeting in addition to public meetings during the comment period. We look forward to working with the state to help us finalize offshore areas that have strong resource potential and the fewest environmental and user conflicts”.

To determine the potential offshore locations that seem most suitable for the development of floating offshore wind energy, taking into account potential impacts on local coastal and marine resources and ocean users, BOEM claimed it used a thorough process that involved outreach to potentially impacted stakeholders and ocean users, Tribes, and the general public.

BOEM Seeks Input on Draft WEAs off Oregon Coast

According to the press release, the organization worked with the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to implement an ocean planning model to identify and reduce conflicts.

The Department of the Interior issued the Oregon Call Area for public comment in April 2022; BOEM noted the two draft WEAs reflect adjustments based on public, stakeholder, and interagency participation.

The BOEM will convene open meetings to discuss the next stages and seek comments on the proposed WEAs through October 16. According to the press release, the organization will also call a meeting of the Oregon Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force to discuss the draft WEAs and the following steps in Oregon’s preparation for offshore wind energy.

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According to a previous article by the Capital Press, Oregon Governor Tina Kotek wrote to the BOEM in June to request that the organization postpone finding and licensing offshore wind lands in the state while it fully assesses the effects on the economy and environment.

According to a second news release, the BOEM chose three final WEAs offshore of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia last month. These areas total about 356,550 acres and could accommodate between four and eight GW of energy output.

The 101,767-acre first WEA (A-2) lies 26 nautical miles (nm) from Delaware Bay. The second WEA (B-1) is 78,285 acres in size and is located 23.5 nautical miles from Ocean City, Maryland. The third WEA (C-1) is 176,506 acres and is 35 nautical miles off Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay coast.

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Louis
Louis Ebert

Louis Ebert is a talented content writer with a passion for creating compelling stories and informative articles. With years of experience in writing, Louis has honed their skills in crafting engaging content that resonates with readers.As a content writer for Focushillsboro.com, Louis explores the many facets of life in Hillsboro and the surrounding areas. From delving into the latest trends in local business to highlighting community events and leaders, their writing offers a unique perspective that captures the essence of the area.

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