Posted on January 16, 2023
The Department of the Interior today announced that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will publish a proposed rule to update regulations for offshore wind development on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). Interior says the proposed regulations would modernize regulations, streamline overly complex and burdensome processes, clarify ambiguous provisions and enhance compliance provisions in order to decrease costs and uncertainty associated with the deployment of offshore wind facilities. The proposed reforms are estimated to save developers approximately $1 billion over a 20 year period.
The proposed rule’s components, include:
- Eliminating unnecessary requirements for the deployment of meteorological buoys
- Increasing survey flexibility
- Improving the project design and installation verification process
- Establishing a public Renewable Energy Leasing Schedule
- Reforming BOEM’s renewable energy auction regulations
- Tailoring financial assurance requirements and instruments
- Clarifying safety management system regulations
- Revising other provisions and making technical corrections
Over the past two years, the Interior Department has launched the U.S. offshore wind industry by approving America’s first two commercial scale offshore wind projects and evolving its approach to offshore wind to move towards union-built projects and a domestic based supply chain. Since the start of the Biden administration, BOEM has held three offshore wind lease auctions – including a record-breaking sale offshore New York and the first-ever sale offshore the U.S. West Coast in California, initiated environmental review of ten offshore wind projects, and advanced the process to explore additional Wind Energy Areas in the Gulf of Mexico, Oregon, Gulf of Maine and Central Atlantic.
By 2025, the Department plans to potentially hold up to four additional offshore lease sales and complete the review of at least 16 plans to construct and operate commercial, offshore wind energy facilities, which would represent more than 22 gigawatts of clean energy.
- A notice of proposed rulemaking will publish in the Federal Register in the coming days for a 60-day comment period through regulations.gov. You can download the prepublication version HERE