The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) unveiled plans today for a proposed offshore wind lease sale in the Central Atlantic, underscoring the Biden administration's commitment to a clean energy future. NCCOS was a key partner in this work, harnessing the power of spatial modeling to identify optimal locations for offshore wind development that have the least conflict with other ocean uses. The proposed lease sale encompasses areas offshore of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. Lease Area A-2, covering over 100,000 acres, and Lease Area C-1, spanning over 175,000 acres, could power over 2.2 million homes — a substantial contribution to the President's renewable energy goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030.
NCCOS collaborated closely with BOEM and the Department of Energy to support offshore wind planning and this work helped to facilitate informed decision-making for the sustainable growth of the offshore wind industry. Spatial modeling is a powerful tool for understanding ocean ecosystems and ocean industry interactions. These models provide decision-makers with critical intelligence, ensuring that offshore wind development is not only economically viable but also environmentally responsible. This approach balances socioeconomic and ecological goals, addressing the complex challenges posed by the busy ocean space. The exclusion of wind energy area B-1, located offshore Ocean City, MD, from the proposed lease sale highlights the careful consideration given to stakeholder input.
The Proposed Sale Notice, set to publish in the Federal Register on December 12, 2023, initiates a 60-day public comment period, providing stakeholders and the public an opportunity to contribute to the decision-making process. Additionally, BOEM is preparing a draft Environmental Assessment to evaluate potential environmental impacts, further underlining the agency's commitment to responsible and sustainable offshore wind development in the Central Atlantic.
Find more information on BOEM’s website.