BOEM sets date for Central Atlantic offshore wind lease sale

Written by Marine Log Staff
U.S. offshore wind lease sale

Image: BOEM

The U.S Department of the Interior today announced that the Bureau of Offshore Energy Management (BOEM) will hold an offshore wind energy lease sale in the Central Atlantic, on August 14, 2024.

“We are excited to announce this sale and underscore our commitment to explore additional areas in the Central Atlantic for potential offshore wind energy development,” said BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein. “BOEM will continue to work with all ocean users to ensure offshore wind energy proceeds in an environmentally responsible manner.”

The Final Sale Notice (FSN), which will publish in the Federal Register on July 1, (read the prepublication version here) includes one area offshore the states of Delaware and Maryland, and one area offshore the Commonwealth of Virginia. Lease Area A-2 consists of 101,443 acres and is approximately 26 nautical miles (nm) from Delaware Bay. Lease Area C-1 consists of 176,505 acres and is approximately 35 nm from the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. The leased area could generate up to 6.3 gigawatts of renewable energy and power up to 2.2 million homes.

Seventeen companies qualified to participate in the August offshore wind lease sale.

BOEM partnered with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science to develop a comprehensive, ecosystem-based ocean planning model that assisted in the selection of the final lease areas. The FSN contains detailed information about the areas available for leasing, certain lease provisions and conditions, auction details, criteria for evaluating competing bids, and procedures for lease award, appeals, and lease execution. Details on the FSN, along with a map of the area can be found on BOEM’s website.

BOEM is including several lease stipulations and bidding credits that would reaffirm its commitment to create good-paying jobs and engage with ocean users and other stakeholders. Some of these stipulations, which are part of the FSN for the offshore wind lease sale, include:

  • Providing a 12.5% bidding credit to bidders who commit to supporting workforce training programs for the offshore wind industry, developing a domestic supply chain for the offshore wind industry, or a combination of both. 
  • Providing a 12.5% bidding credit to bidders who establish and contribute to a fisheries compensatory mitigation fund or contribute to an existing fund to mitigate potential negative impacts from offshore wind energy development in the Central Atlantic to commercial and for-hire recreational fisheries. 
  • Stipulations that lessees make every reasonable effort to enter into a project labor agreement covering the construction stage of any project for the lease areas; communication plans for tribes, agencies, and fisheries; and semi-annual reports on engagement activities with tribes and communities.

BOEM will also continue to convene the Central Atlantic Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force to enhance collaboration and to explore and identify potential additional areas for future offshore wind leasing.

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