US Government Kicks Off Central Atlantic Offshore Wind Lease Sale Process, Four Developers Already Pre-Qualified

The US Department of the Interior (DOI) and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) today published a proposed sale notice (PSN) for an offshore wind lease sale in the Central Atlantic for one area offshore Delaware and Maryland, and one area offshore Virginia. 

BOEM says that the two lease areas have the potential to power over 2.2 million homes with clean energy. Lease Area A-2 consists of 101,443 acres and is located approximately 26.4 nautical miles from Delaware Bay. Lease Area C-1 consists of 176,505 acres and is approximately 35 nautical miles from the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.

According to the PSN, which will be published in the Federal Register on 12 December, four developers have already been deemed eligible for the lease sale, including Avangrid Renewables, US Mainstream Offshore, OW North America Ventures, and energyRe Offshore Wind Holdings.

As in the previous lease processes in the US, further companies are expected to qualify to bid in the auction by the time the DOI and BOEM issue the final sale notice (FSN). The FSN will be published at least 30 days before the lease sale, which is scheduled to be held early next year.

By issuing the PSN, BOEM is opening a 60-day public comment period to get feedback on which, if any, of the two lease areas should be offered in a lease sale next year, as well as on certain lease provisions and conditions, auction details, criteria for evaluating competing bids and procedures for lease award, appeals and lease execution.

In addition to the now-published proposed sale notice, BOEM is preparing a draft environmental assessment (EA) to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of lease issuance within the Central Atlantic WEAs. The publication of the draft EA is forthcoming and will be available for review and public comment, BOEM says.

BOEM announced three Central Atlantic Wind Energy Areas (WEAs) in July and indicated that the area WEA B-1, which is not included in this lease sale, needed to be studied further.

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Located approximately 23.5 nautical miles offshore Ocean City, Maryland, the WEA was removed from this proposed lease sale due to the significant costs and mitigation that would be required. However, WEA B-1 may be considered as part of a potential second lease sale in the Central Atlantic, which could occur as soon as 2025, BOEM noted.


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