OFFSHORE WIND PROJECTS
The purpose of this web page is to describe the status of and provide access to more information for individual offshore wind energy projects on the US Atlantic coast, within a focus on the Northeast, using publicly available resources.
For a series of maps related to offshore wind in the Northeast, visit the Offshore Wind Map Gallery.
The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is the lead federal agency authorized to issue leases, easements, and rights of way to allow for renewable energy development on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). BOEM describes four distinct phases of their renewable energy program: planning, leasing, site assessment, and construction and operations, with stakeholders being engaged throughout the process. For more detail about these phases, see BOEM’s page on Renewable Energy Regulatory Framework and Guidelines. Other entities, including states, also have roles in the development and permitting process, which is beyond the scope of this web page.
1. Planning & Analysis (~2 years)
The first phase involves planning and analysis to identify the most appropriate sites for renewable energy leasing and development activities. This phase involves federally recognized tribes, other federal agencies, states, local governments, and includes mechanisms for public input. Steps in this phase could include:
- Intergovernmental Task Force
- Request for Information or Call for Information and Nominations
- Area Identification. This can include unsolicited bids.
- Environmental Reviews
2. Leasing (~1-2 years)
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 requires that BOEM issue leases and grants on a competitive basis, unless it determines that there is no competitive interest in the proposed lease or grant. When only one developer has indicated interest in developing a given site, BOEM may issue a lease or grant noncompetitively. If multiple developers express interest in leasing a given site, then BOEM proceeds with a competitive leasing process, which may ultimately result in a lease sale or auction. In either case, there are multiple opportunities for public involvement in the activities in this phase. In practice, all leases issued in the Northeast have been competitive.
- Publish leasing notices
- Conduct auction or negotiate lease terms
- Issue lease(s)
Areas Leased on the US Atlantic Coast from Maine to Virginia as of April 22, 2020
|Lease Number||Lessee: Local – Parent Company(ies)||State|
|OCS-A 0482||GSOE I, LLC||DE|
|OCS-A 0483||Virginia Electric and Power Company – Dominion Energy||VA|
|OCS-A 0486||DWW Rev I, LCC – Orsted & Eversource||RI/MA|
|OCS-A 0487||Deepwater Wind New England, LCC – Orsted & Eversource||RI/MA|
|OCS-A 0490||US Wind, Inc. – Toto Holding Group||MD|
|OCS-A 0497||Commonwealth of Virginia, Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy||VA|
|OCS-A 0498||Ocean Wind, LLC - Orsted||NJ|
|OCS-A 0499||Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind - EDF Renewables Development, Inc.||NJ|
|OCS-A 0500||Baystate Wind, LLC – Orsted & Eversource||MA|
|OCS-A 0501||Vineyard Wind, LLC – Avangrid Renewables LLC & Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners||MA|
|OCS-A 0512||Equinor Wind US, LLC||NY|
|OCS-A 0517||Deepwater Wind South Fork, LLC - Orsted & Eversource||RI/MA|
|OCS-A 0519||Skipjack Offshore Energy, LLC - Orsted||DE|
|OCS-A 0520||Equinor Wind US, LLC||MA|
|OCS-A 0521||Mayflower Wind Energy, LLC – EDP Renewables & Shell||MA|
|OCS-A 0522||Vineyard Wind, LLC – Avangrid Renewables LLC & Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners||MA|
3. Site Assessment (up to 5 years)
Once a lease or grant is issued, lessees have 12 months to submit a Site Assessment Plan (SAP) to BOEM that describes how they will characterize the area (e.g., conduct resource assessments, install meteorological towers or buoys). SAPs pertain to the entire lease area. After site assessment, developers often publicly announce their intent to build a project within the lease area and choose a project name. At this time, they might also begin negotiating with utility companies, states, and other entities to secure support for the project.
- Site characterization
- Site assessment plan
4. Construction & Operations (~2 years) (+25)
This phase includes the formal submission of a plan to construct a specific offshore wind energy facility within a lease area, the environmental review of the proposed project by BOEM with cooperating and participating agencies (includes federal and state) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and the actual construction of a facility. This phase includes several steps that span many years and include public meetings and comment periods (*indicates formal public comment opportunity):
- Developer submits Construction and Operations Plan (COP)
After BOEM approves the COP (between steps A & B), maps showing the proposed footprint and potential layout of the project will become available on the Northeast Ocean Data Portal.
- BOEM publishes a Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (*)
When a project reaches this stage, a project-specific web page will become available on the Northeast Ocean Data Portal.
- BOEM issues a Draft Environmental Impact Statement(*)
- BOEM issues a Final Environmental Impact Statement
- BOEM issues a Record of Decision
Operational Projects and Projects Under Review as of June 18, 2020
This information is derived from public sources including BOEM’s website and the websites of individual offshore wind developers.
|Project||1. Planning & Analysis||2. Leasing||3. Site Assessment||4. Construction & Operations|
|Block Island Wind Farm (Deepwater Wind New England, LLC)||✓||✓||✓||A-G|
|Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (Research Lease; OCS-A 0497)||✓||✓||✓||A-F|
|Vineyard Wind (Vineyard Wind LLC; OCS-A 0501)||✓||✓||✓||A-C|
|South Fork Wind Farm (Deepwater Wind South Fork LLC; OCS-A 0517)||✓||✓||✓||A|
|Revolution Wind (DWW Rev I, LLC; OCS-A 0486)||✓||✓||✓||A|
|Bay State Wind (Bay State Wind LLC; OCS-A 0500)||✓||✓||✓||A|
|Ocean Wind (Ocean Wind LLC; OCS-A 0498)||✓||✓||✓||A|
|Empire Wind (Equinor Wind US LLC; OCS-A 0512)||✓||✓||✓||A|
|Skipjack Wind Farm (Skipjack Offshore Energy LLC; OCS-A 0519)||✓||✓||✓||A|
|Sunrise Wind (Orsted & Eversource; OCS-A 0487 & 0500)||✓||✓||✓|
|Mayflower Wind (Mayflower Wind Energy LLC; OCS-A 0521)||✓||✓||✓|
|Beacon Wind (Equinor Wind US LLC; OCS-A 520)||✓||✓||✓|
|Constitution Wind (Orsted & Eversource)||✓||✓|
|Garden State Offshore Energy (Garden State Offshore Energy LLC; OCS-A 0482)||✓||✓|
|Boardwalk Wind (Equinor Wind US LLC; OCS-A 0512)||✓||✓|
BOEM, 2016. A Citizen’s Guide to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s Renewable Energy Authorization Process. https://www.boem.gov/KW-CG-Broch/
BOEM 2020. Renewable Energy: Regulatory Framework and Guidelines. https://www.boem.gov/Regulatory-Framework/
BOEM 2020. Renewable Energy: State Activities. https://www.boem.gov/Renewable-Energy-State-Activities/