BOEM Releases Draft EIS for Two Proposed Wind Projects Off Atlantic Coast

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has released two draft Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) for offshore wind projects for public review and comment.

Illustration; Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) demo project, first wind turbines in US federal waters; Photo: Dominion Energy

The two projects, the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) and the Sunrise Wind, if approved, could provide more than 4 GW of offshore wind power capacity, enough to power more than 1.3 million homes.

Draft EISs for both offshore wind projects can be viewed on BOEM’s website and the notice of availability of the draft EISs will be published in the Federal Register on 16 December, which will open a 60-day public comment period that will end on 14 February 2023.

Feedback on the draft EISs will inform BOEM’s preparations for the final EIS.

Dominion Energy, the developer of the project, initially filed its Construction and Operations Plan (COP) with BOEM in December 2020, kicking off the environmental review.

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BOEM will use the findings of the EIS to inform its decision on whether to approve the CVOW COP, and if so, which mitigation measures to require.

During the comment period, BOEM will hold three virtual public meetings.

Located approximately 43 kilometres off the coast of Virginia Beach, Virginia, the 2.6 GW CVOW wind farm will feature 176 Siemens Gamesa 15 MW turbines scheduled to be installed by late 2026.

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Sunrise Wind LLC submitted a COP last year for its proposal to develop an offshore wind farm that includes up to 94 wind turbines and their associated export cables.

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During the comment period, BOEM will hold three virtual public meetings, where the public can learn more about the review process, the EIS schedule, potential impacts from the proposed Sunrise Wind project, and proposals to reduce potential impacts.

The project would be located approximately 50 kilometres east of Montauk, New York; around 30 kilometres south of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts; and about 27 kilometres offshore Block Island, Rhode Island.

The onshore export cables, substation, and grid connection would be located in Holbrook, New York.

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The up to 1,034 MW wind farm project is being developed as a partnership between ├śrsted and Eversource, with support from Con Edison Transmission and the New York Power Authority, who will assist the development of the transmission facilities needed to deliver the offshore wind energy to the electric transmission grid.

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