This is to follow-up regarding the BOEM's publication of the Proposed Sale Notice (PSN) for Commercial Leasing for Offshore Wind Power on the Outer Continental Shelf Offshore Rhode Island and Massachusetts, which was published in the Federal Register on December 3, 2012 for a 60-day public comment period that ended on February 1, 2013. BOEM received 82 comments in response to the PSN, which are available on BOEM's website at: http://www.boem.gov/Renewable-Energy-Program/State-Activities/Rhode-Island.aspx.
BOEM recently concluded formal consultation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Marine Fisheries Service under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act. The Biological Opinion, titled "Commercial Wind Lease Issuance and Site Assessment Activities on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf in the Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, and New Jersey Wind Energy Areas," is available via the following link: http://www.nero.noaa.gov/protected/section7/bo/actbiops/boem_ocs_wind_energy_april_2013.pdf. We are presently updating our environmental documents and preparing the Final Sale Notice, which must be published in the Federal Register at least 30 days before any auction is held.
In addition, BOEM requested that the Department of Energy National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) conduct an evaluation of BOEM's delineation of the Rhode Island and Massachusetts Wind Energy Area as described in the PSN. NREL recently completed the evaluation, which is available via the following link: http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy13osti/58091.pdf.
Feel free to contact Jessica Bradley if you have any questions.
Office of Renewable Energy Programs
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
Office: (703) 787-1730