BOEM Evaluation Finds ‘No Vital Impression’ from Offshore Wind Leasing in Northern California

The U.S. Division of the Inside’s Bureau of Ocean Vitality Administration (BOEM) has discovered “no important impression” in its environmental assessment of potential impacts from offshore wind vitality leasing actions within the Humboldt Wind Vitality Space (WEA), situated 20 miles offshore northern California.

The Humboldt WEA contains almost 132,369 acres (206.8 sq. miles) off the coast of Humboldt County, California which, if developed, may convey as much as 1.6 GW of fresh vitality to the grid, sufficient to energy roughly 560,000 houses.

BOEM’s Environmental Evaluation (EA) considers potential impacts from the issuance of leases inside the WEA, together with website characterization actions (i.e., organic, archeological, geological, and geophysical surveys and core samples) and website evaluation actions (i.e., set up of meteorological buoys). The EA additionally considers challenge easements related to every potential lease and associated right-of-way grants for subsea cable corridors within the Humboldt WEA.

“The completion of this Environmental Evaluation represents an essential step ahead for guaranteeing that any future renewable vitality improvement – ought to a lease sale happen — is finished in a accountable method,” mentioned BOEM Director Amanda Lefton. “Working carefully with Tribes, state and federal companions and key stakeholders, BOEM stays targeted on guaranteeing that such improvement is finished in a method that avoids or reduces potential impacts to the atmosphere and different ocean customers within the area.”

BOEM initially introduced its intent to organize an env for the Humboldt WEA on July 28, 2021 and sought public enter, holding two public digital conferences with stakeholders and initiating a 30-day public remark interval.

Ought to a lease sale happen and earlier than approving the development of any offshore wind vitality facility within the Humboldt WEA, BOEM will develop an Environmental Impression Assertion pursuant to the Nationwide Environmental Coverage Act to investigate the project-specific environmental and socioeconomic penalties, in session with Tribes and acceptable federal, state, and native companies, and with participation by stakeholders and the general public.

Subsequent week, BOEM is about to carry a wind vitality public sale for 2 lease areas offshore the Carolinas. The world covers 110,091 acres within the Carolina Lengthy Bay space that, if developed, may end in no less than 1.3 gigawatts of offshore wind vitality, or sufficient to energy almost 500,000 houses.

BOEM plans to carry seven potential lease gross sales by 2025, together with the upcoming Carolina Lengthy Bay lease sale and February’s New York Bight lease sale, which set a file because the nation’s highest-grossing aggressive offshore vitality lease sale in historical past, together with oil and fuel lease gross sales.

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