The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) plans to review potential environmental impacts related to the possible issuance of an offshore wind energy research lease in the Gulf of Maine.
The State of Maine requested the lease to research potential floating offshore wind energy development.
The research site lies 20 nautical miles off the coast of Maine, roughly southeast of Portland, and if developed, would comprise up to 12 floating offshore wind turbines capable of generating up to 144 megawatts of renewable energy.
BOEM will publish a Notice of Intent in the Federal Register to state its intent to prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the wind energy research lease, which will initiate a 30-day public comment period that will end at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Jun. 5, 2023.
During this period, BOEM seeks public input regarding important environmental issues and the identification of reasonable alternatives that should be considered in the EA.
“BOEM appreciates the value of research demonstration projects to advance floating wind technology,” said BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein. “The Tribes, states, ocean users and stakeholders in the Gulf of Maine have valuable expertise on the issues facing this region, and we look forward to collaborating and working with everyone as we move forward.”
BOEM will host a Gulf of Maine Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force meeting May 10-11, 2023, in Bangor, Maine. The purpose of the meeting is to update Task Force members and the public on BOEM’s commercial and research offshore wind energy planning activities and to discuss next steps for the Gulf of Maine.
The public is encouraged to attend this meeting, BOEM said.