DOI Announces Renewable Energy Offshore Lease Sales

December 5, 2012

The Department of the Interior (DOI) and its Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) on November 30 announced competitive lease sales for renewable energy development of two wind energy areas in the Atlantic Ocean. BOEM is proposing the lease of nearly 278,000 acres offshore of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Virginia.

The lease sales, which will be held next year, will be the first ever competitive sales on the Outer Continental Shelf for wind energy. They are major milestones in DOI's "Smart from the Start" wind energy program to facilitate the siting, leasing, and construction of new wind energy projects. These proposed leases cover areas considered to have high wind resource potential and are expected to be able to support more than 4,000 megawatts of wind generation, enough electricity to power an estimated 1.4 million homes.

The Proposed Sale Notices were published in the Federal Register on December 3, providing detailed information about the areas available for leasing as well as details such as award procedures. The 60-day public comment period for the notices ends on February 1, 2013. See the DOI press release, the Federal Register notice for Massachusetts and Rhode Island and the Federal Register notice for Virginia.