US Federal Agencies Team Up for Offshore Wind

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) have entered into an agreement in support of planning and reviewing renewable energy projects on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

The agreement will allow USACE to provide BOEM additional scientific and technical resources needed to evaluate offshore wind projects on the OCS.

While the scope of the agreement covers all renewable energy activities in the Atlantic, the initial focus will be on the USACE supporting the review of the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Commercial project and the Kitty Hawk project, offshore North Carolina.

The partnership between BOEM and USACE is a result of the US President Biden’s Executive Order 14008, Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, which directed interagency consultation between the Department of the Interior and Department of Defense (DOD) in order to increase renewable energy production on public lands and in offshore waters, while ensuring robust protection for the US lands, waters, and biodiversity and creating good-paying jobs.

The goal of the agreement is to help increase renewable energy production in offshore waters and help the Biden-Harris Administration meet its commitment to deploy 30 GW of offshore wind energy by 2030.

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”This agreement shows the value of a whole-of-government approach to clean energy development,” said BOEM Director Amanda Lefton.

”BOEM has a long history of successful collaboration with the DOD and USACE on energy and marine mineral projects. Additionally, our state partnerships are vital to the advancement of BOEM’s renewable energy program.”

The agreement gives BOEM access to USACE technical expertise while planning new leasing in the Atlantic and reviewing National Environmental Policy Act documents, Construction and Operations Plans (project proposals), Facility Design Reports, and Fabrication and Installation Reports.

”This partnership is a great example of federal agencies coming together for a common goal: to advance renewable energy solutions for the nation,” said USACE North Atlantic Division Programs Director Karen Baker.

”We look forward to applying USACE scientific and technical support to enable the BOEM-led team.”

The 2.6 GW Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) is being developed some 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach, Virginia, by Dominion Energy.

The CVOW commercial project is on track to commence construction in 2024 and be completed in 2026.

Last year, Dominion Energy completed the construction of CVOW’s first phase – the two-turbine 12 MW pilot project located adjacent to the commercial lease area.

Kitty Hawk will be built approximately 27 miles from the Outer Banks in the Kitty Hawk Wind Energy Area (WEA) offshore North Carolina.

The project is being developed by Avangrid, a subsidiary of Spain’s Iberdrola.

The first phase of the project, expected to begin construction as soon as 2024, will have the capacity to generate approximately 800 MW of electricity. When all phases are complete, Kitty Hawk is expected to have a total generation capacity of up to 2.5 GW.

Avangrid secured the rights to develop the 122,405-acre lease area in May 2017. It is the first offshore wind lease area to be secured off North Carolina.

Photo: Dominion Energy/Illustration