JUNE 6, 2016 — U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell has announced the proposed lease sale of 81,130 acres offshore New York for commercial wind energy leasing.
The proposed lease area, approximately 11 miles south of Long Island, is identical to the New York Wind Energy Area, which Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) identified earlier this year in consultation with members of its New York Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force (see earlier story). This task force includes federal, state, tribal and local government partners. In addition, BOEM considered information gathered through outreach with stakeholders.
A "Proposed Sale Notice (PSN) for Commercial Leasing for Wind Power on the Outer Continental Shelf Offshore New York" will be published in the Federal Register on June 6, 2016, and will include a 60-day public comment period.
The end of the PSN comment period also serves as the deadline for any companies wishing to participate in the lease sale to submit their qualification package, if they have not already done so.
To be eligible to participate in the lease sale, each bidder must have been notified by BOEM that it is legally, technically and financially qualified by the time the Final Sale Notice is published. To date, seven companies have qualified to BOEM will host a public seminar in late June or July in New York City to describe the auction format, explain the auction rules and demonstrate the auction process through meaningful examples. It will be followed by a public meeting on BOEM's planning and leasing efforts regarding New York offshore wind energy activities.
The time, venue, and related materials for the seminar and public meeting will be posted online at www.boem.gov/New-York.In addition to the PSN, BOEM will publish an Environmental Assessment (EA) on the same day for a 30-day public comment period.
BOEM will hold four public meetings in June to provide an overview of the EA findings and offer additional opportunities for public comments. BOEM's public meetings will be held at the following locations: Long Branch, N.J. (June 20, 2016), Hempstead, N.Y. (June 21, 2016), West Hampton Beach, N.Y. (June 22, 2016), and Narragansett, RI (June 23, 2016). Specific times and venues will be posted online at www.boem.gov/New-York.
"This is a great day for New York and our country as we continue to diversify our nation's energy portfolio," BOEM Director Abigail Ross Hopper said. "The proposed lease area could make substantial contributions to the region's energy supply and assist local and state governments – including New York City – in achieving their renewable energy goals. In the meantime, we will continue to work with New York Renewable Energy Task Force, local communities and key stakeholders to reduce conflicts and bring clarity to potential wind energy developers.