BOEM Finalizes Environmental Review of Gulf of Maine Offshore Wind Research Lease

© Peter Adams / Adobe Stock
© Peter Adams / Adobe Stock

The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has released its Final Environmental Assessment (Final EA) of an offshore wind research lease in the Gulf of Maine.  

In October 2021, the state of Maine requested a research lease for the purpose of researching floating offshore wind energy technology and its deployment. The research site lies 28 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.  

After carefully considering alternatives described and analyzed in the Final EA, as well as comments from the public and cooperating and consulting agencies on the Draft EA, BOEM finds that the issuance of a wind energy research lease within the proposed lease area offshore Maine, and related site characterization and site assessment activities, would have no significant impact on the environment.

As a result, under the National Environmental Policy Act, BOEM is not required to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement in order to issue a wind energy research lease offshore Maine.

Since the start of the Biden-Harris administration, the Department of the Interior has approved the nation's first eight commercial-scale offshore wind energy projects. BOEM has held four offshore wind lease auctions, including sales offshore New York and New Jersey and the Carolinas, and the first-ever sales offshore the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico coasts. BOEM is exploring additional opportunities for offshore wind energy development in the U.S., including in the Gulf of Maine and the U.S. Central Atlantic coast.

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