Offshore Wind Project Summary

Editors note: This is an addendum to John McMurray’s “Wind Power… Coming to a Coast Near You” Article 

Cape Wind, which was issued the nation’s first commercial lease in 2010, allowing them to construct and operate 130 turbines in a 25-mile area in Nantucket Sound.  While the company has completed nearly all the regulatory requirements it is undergoing litigation, making the actual construction date very uncertain.  BOEM has also issued a commercial lease to Bluewater Wind Delaware for the right to submit one or more plans to support the development of a windfarm in a 96,430-acre area located in Federal waters off Delaware, but the company has not completed their geophysical survey work or submitted final construction plans.

BOEM is in advanced planning stages in a few areas along the Atlantic coast.  These include a small area about 6 miles due south of Boothbay Maine, a large area off of Rhode Island about 30-miles due east of Montauk, and a large pie-shaped area in the New York Bight about 35 miles south of the western end of Long Island.  In addition BOEM has issued in “interim policy” leases for two small areas about 20 miles off of New Jersey, and is processing an interim policy lease application for a small area about 5 miles off of Tybee Island Georgia.  “Interim Policy” leases only allow for limited activities such as the construction of a meteorological tower.  Yet we are many regulatory steps away from construction on any of those sites.

In state waters, a small demonstration project approximately three miles southeast of Block Island, consisting of 5 turbines, looks like it may happen quite soon, which will make it nation’s first offshore wind project.   In Maine, a small model of the country’s first floating wind turbine will be installed off Castine, and testing will escalate for a pilot wind park off Boothbay Harbor.  “Fisherman’s Energy” a company, strangely enough, run by a fishing family, is also close to becoming fully permitted to construct a small-scale demonstration project off the coast of Atlantic City.

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After obtaining an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Loyola College in Maryland, Captain John McMurray served in the US Coast Guard for four years as a small-boat coxswain and marine-fisheries law enforcement officer. He was then recruited to become the first Executive Director of the Coastal Conservation Association New York. He is currently the Director of Grants Programs at the Norcross Wildlife Foundation in New York. He is the owner and primary operator of “One More Cast” Charters. John is a well known and well published outdoor writer, specializing in fisheries conservation issues. In 2006 John was awarded the Coastal Conservation Association New York Friend of Fisheries Conservation Award.

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  1. […] When will we see construction along our coasts?  It looks like they aren’t that far off.  BOEM has identified several Wind Energy Areas (WEA) off the East Coast that appear suitable. A number of states on the Atlantic coast have initiated planning for offshore wind projects and developers are currently pursuing leases.  For a summary of offshore wind projects and their progress click here. […]

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