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.