The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) yesterday announced availability of a revised environmental assessment (EA) and its finding of no significant impact (FONSI) for lease issuance to conduct marine hydrokinetic technology testing offshore Florida.
Florida Atlantic University’s Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center (FAU SNMREC) applied to BOEM for a lease to deploy experimental demonstration devices in August 2011. The proposed lease area is contained within three Outer Continental Shelf blocks, and located about 9 to 15nm off Fort Lauderdale.
“This is the first lease application that BOEM has received to test ocean current energy equipment,” said BOEM Director Tommy P. Beaudreau. “Ocean currents contain an enormous amount of energy, and this technology offers exciting potential to expand the nation’s renewable energy portfolio.”
In April 2012, BOEM published an EA for a 30-day public review period. The EA considered potential environmental impacts and socioeconomic effects from issuing a lease and associated activities, including surveys, installing mooring and telemetry buoys, and testing of equipment designed to use the Florida current to generate electricity.
In order to address the comments received, incorporate new information and activities, and fully consider the additional impacts associated with the new proposed activities, BOEM revised the EA.
Based on the analysis contained in the revised EA, BOEM issued a FONSI, which concluded that the environmental impacts associated with the proposed action and alternatives would not significantly impact the environment.
The revised EA and FONSI, as well as FAU SNMREC’s lease request can be accessed on BOEM’s website: www.boem.gov/Renewable-Energy-Program/State-Activities/Florida.aspx