April 28, 2022

US BOEM Issues Calls for Information and Nominations for Offshore Wind Areas in Central Atlantic and Offshore Oregon


On April 27, 2022, the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) issued two separate calls for information and nominations (Calls) for possible leasing areas for offshore wind energy development in the Central Atlantic (Central Atlantic Call) and offshore Oregon (Oregon Call). Publication of these Calls in the Federal Register is scheduled for April 29, 2022, and will initiate a 60-day public comment period, which will end at 11:59 p.m. ET on June 28, 2022.

Central Atlantic Call 

The Central Atlantic Call seeks information on six distinct areas in the Central Atlantic comprising almost 3.9 million acres, which is depicted on the map below. 

The closest point to the shore of any of the areas is approximately 20 nautical miles off the Central Atlantic coast. (Additional information on the Central Atlantic Call can be found at BOEM’s Central Atlantic webpage.) Importantly, portions of two of the areas (areas D and F) fall within the boundary for the upcoming offshore leasing moratorium, as former President Trump's September 2020 memorandum provides: “I hereby withdraw from disposition by leasing for 10 years, beginning on July 1, 2022, and ending on June 30, 2032: The portion of the area designated by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management as the Mid Atlantic Planning Area that lies south of the northern administrative boundary of North Carolina,” the administrative boundary depicted on the Atlantic NAD 83 Federal Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Administrative Boundaries map. Therefore, BOEM can move forward with planning and analysis for all of the Central Atlantic Call areas, but it will not be able to issue new leases in portions of areas D and F until the moratorium is lifted or ends. 

Oregon Call 

The Oregon Call requests information on two areas that together comprise approximately 1.158 million acres, which are depicted on the map below. Both areas—the Coos Bay Call Area and the Brookings Call Area—begin about 12 nautical miles from shore at their closest points, off the coast of central and southern Oregon, respectively. For more information on the Call, including a map of the areas and instructions for commenting, see BOEM’s Oregon webpage.

What’s Next
While these are very important steps for offshore wind development on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, the Call stage is still early in the BOEM planning process. It kicks off the commercial leasing process, further assesses the commercial interest in the areas and requests comments from interested and affected parties. Based on comments received, BOEM will move forward with the Area Identification (Area ID) process, which identifies the acreage within the Call areas that is suitable for commercial wind leasing and development. The Area ID process results in BOEM identifying specific Wind Energy Areas (WEAs) to be further analyzed and the areas to be explicitly excluded from the WEAs for various reasons, including environmental factors.
Related Activity
In its April 27 announced BOEM also noted that, over the past year, the Biden-Harris administration and the Interior Department have launched the American offshore wind industry by approving and celebrating the groundbreaking of the nation’s first two commercial-scale offshore wind projects in federal waters. The Interior Department also held a record-breaking New York Bight auction and announced plans to potentially hold up to seven new offshore lease sales by 2025. Toward that goal, on May 11, 2022, BOEM will be auctioning off two lease areas in the Carolina Long Bay area.   


Related Articles 

US BOEM Announces North Carolina Offshore Wind Auction

Offshore Wind Interconnection Process and Cost Considerations 

New Jersey Delays Its Next Offshore Wind Solicitation for Transmission Planning

US BOEM Announces Provisional Winners of Massive Offshore Wind Auction 

US Offshore Wind Development: 2021 Year in Review and Looking Ahead 

Stay Up To Date With Our Insights

See how we use a multidisciplinary, integrated approach to meet our clients' needs.