BOEM initiates process for new call areas

4C Offshore | Bridget Randall-Smith
By: 28/04/2022 BOEM
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is considering two new call areas for offshore wind off the coast of Oregon and in the Central Atlantic.

BOEM will launch two separate Calls for Information and Nominations for possible leasing in areas that are determined to be suitable off the coast of Oregon and in the Central Atlantic.

Scheduled to publish in the Federal Register on April 29, each Call will initiate a separate comment period during which the public can submit relevant information on site conditions, marine resources, and ocean uses near or within the Call Areas. Concurrently, wind energy companies can nominate specific areas they would like to see offered for leasing. The 60-day comment period will close 28th June.

BOEM is seeking information on six distinct areas in the Central Atlantic comprising almost 3.9 million acres. The closest point to the shore of any of the areas is approximately 20 nautical miles off the Central Atlantic coast.

The Oregon Call, the first action of its type off the Oregon coast, requests information on two areas that together comprise approximately 1,158,400 acres. Both areas – the Coos Bay Call Area and the Brookings Call Area – begin about 12 nautical miles from shore at their closest points, off the coast of central and southern Oregon, respectively.

BOEM Director Amanda Lefton made the announcement at the International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum, where she outlined the Biden-Harris administration’s momentum to spur a clean energy future and create good-paying, union jobs deploying 30 GW of offshore wind energy by 2030.

BOEM will consider public comments and commercial nominations in response to the Calls to analyze potential use conflicts before designating specific wind energy areas (WEAs) within the respective Call Areas. BOEM will then conduct environmental reviews of the WEAs in consultation with the appropriate Federal agencies, Tribes, State and local governments, and other key stakeholders. BOEM may then propose one or more competitive lease sales for areas within the WEAs.

The Department of the Interior recently held a record-breaking New York Bight auction and announced plans to potentially hold up to seven new offshore lease sales by 2025.

For more information on offshore wind farms worldwide, click here.