BOEM to review Massachusetts wind proposal

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As part of the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced it would initiate the environmental review of a proposed 2,430-megawatt wind energy project offshore Massachusetts.

BOEM will publish a Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Construction and Operations Plan (COP) submitted by Beacon Wind, LLC. This is the 11th offshore wind energy COP review initiated under the Biden-Harris administration.

Beacon Wind 1 will generate enough renewable energy to power more than one million New York homes, said Molly Morris, Equinor Renewables Americas. (Courtesy: Beacon Wind)

“BOEM is advancing 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. “As part of our environmental review process, we seek input from Tribes, our government partners, the fishing community, and other ocean users to inform our next steps.”

The lease area is about 17 nautical miles south of Nantucket, Mass., and about 52 nm east of Montauk, NY. If approved, the development and construction phases of the Beacon Wind project could support up to an estimated 6,491 jobs.

Highlights from Beacon Wind’s proposal include:

Construction and operation of two wind energy facilities (Beacon Wind 1 and Beacon Wind 2) offshore Massachusetts with a total capacity of at least 2,430 megawatts of clean, renewable wind energy, which could power over 850,000 homes each year.  Installation of up to 155 turbines, up to two offshore substation platforms, and up to two offshore export cables, which are planned to make landfall in Astoria, New York, and Waterford, Conn.

Since the start of the Biden-Harris administration, the Department has approved the nation’s first two commercial scale offshore wind projects, held three offshore wind lease auctions – including a record-breaking sale offshore New York and the first-ever sale offshore the Pacific Coast in California, initiated environmental review of 10 offshore wind projects, and advanced the process to explore additional wind energy areas in Oregon, Gulf of Maine and Central Atlantic. BOEM has also taken steps to evolve its approach to offshore wind to drive toward union-built projects and a domestic-based supply chain.

During the 30-day public comment period, BOEM will hold two virtual and two in-person public meetings for the Beacon Wind EIS on July 13, 2023 at 11 a.m. and July 26, 2023 at 11 a.m. (both Eastern time).

More info: www.boem.gov