U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke last week announced the proposed lease sale for two new areas off the coast of Massachusetts for commercial wind energy leasing, totaling nearly 390,000 acres.
“The proposed sale area has tremendous offshore wind energy potential and the responsible development of it continues to play a big role in the Administration’s America-First Offshore Energy Strategy,” Zinke said in a statement. “This area represents the Department’s willingness to listen to stakeholder feedback, including the fishing community, and make the right adjustments.”
A proposed sale notice (PSN) was published in the Federal Register on April 11, and includes a 60-day public comment period.
“The proposed sales that we are announcing…are the result of extensive work with our partners in the Commonwealth and with a broad community of engaged stakeholders, including fishing communities,” Interior Counselor for Energy Policy Vincent DeVito said. “Together, we identified areas that can support a large-scale commercial wind project, while minimizing the impacts to fishing habitats, marine species, and other uses of the OCS.”
The PSN requests public comments on the proposed auction of Lease OCS-A 0502 (248,015 acres) and Lease OCS-A 0503 (140,554 acres). The two lease areas are the same areas that were unsold in an auction in 2015, according to the PSN. Thirteen companies qualified to participate in the 2015 lease sale.
BOEM will host a public seminar about the lease sale at an as yet undetermined time. More information about the public seminar can be found here.
Lead image credit: CC0 Creative Commons | Pixabay