The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has affirmed its issuance of the existing lease to Wind Cape Associates for the Cape Wind Energy Project (CWEP) offshore Massachussets.
The decision was reached after the analysis of the seafloor and its ability to support wind turbine generators presented in BOEM’s 2017 Final Cape Wind Energy Project Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS).
The Final SEIS is a supplement to the 2009 Final EIS prepared in response to a 2016 remand order of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, BOEM said.
BOEM issued the Final SEIS in August, in which the available geological survey data, as well as geotechnical data and reports submitted to BOEM since the 2009 Final EIS were examined. It also included a summary of all the comments received on the Draft SEIS and BOEM’s responses to those comments.
Cape Wind Associates (CWA) proposed the Cape Wind Energy Project almost 16 years ago, in November 2001, and applied for a commercial lease in September 2005. CWA obtained the commercial lease to construct and operate the wind farm in October 2010.
The lease includes a 5-year site assessment term and a 28-year operations term.
Back in February 2015, the developer submitted a request for a two-year suspension of the operations term of its commercial lease, which BOEM approved in July 2015. No construction or installation activities related to the commercial lease occurred during the lease suspension period.
The Cape Wind lease suspension expired on 24 July 2017.
The Cape Wind Project, which has faced multiple obstacles and fierce opposition over time, would feature up to 130 3.6MW Siemens wind turbines installed at the lease area comprised of approximately 46 square miles in Nantucket Sound, 25 square miles of which make up the project footprint area on Horseshoe Shoal.