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Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind, Tri-State Sunrise Wind Projects Begin

Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind, Tri-State Sunrise Wind Projects Begin; Offshore Supply Vessel

On Monday, Dec. 12, 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced the availability of two draft Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) for two new offshore wind projects for public review and comment, thereby advancing the regulatory process for construction to begin.  Known as the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project and the Sunrise Wind project, the two could provide over 4,000 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind energy capacity, which is enough to power over 1.3 million homes.  

The proposed CVOW commercial project offshore of Virginia Beach could provide up to 3,000 MW of energy, enough to power at least 1 million homes. The proposed Sunrise Wind project, which is located offshore from New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, could provide up to 1,034 MW of energy, which is enough to power at least 350,000 homes. 

These projects represent the fourth and fifth projects at this stage of regulatory review by the BOEM.  During this past year, the U.S. Department of the Interior has already approved what will be the nation’s first two commercial scale offshore wind projects, initiated review on an additional ten projects, and held three offshore wind lease auctions.  

“As BOEM continues to make unprecedented progress, we will continue to work collaboratively with our Tribal, state, and local government partners to harness the transformative potential of U.S. offshore wind, while avoiding or minimizing potential impacts to marine life and other ocean users,” BOEM Director Amanda Lefton said. 

The proposed Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project could provide up to 3,000 MW of energy, enough to power at least 1 million homes.  To read an economic impact report on the project, click here.

The proposed Sunrise Wind project in offshore New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island could provide up to 1,034 MW of energy, enough to power at least 350,000 homes.   Sunrise Wind, LLC is 50/50 partnership between Ørsted and Eversource, with support from Con Edison and the New York Power Authority.

““This important federal permitting milestone puts Sunrise Wind one significant step closer to advancing New York’s ambitious climate goals,” Sunrise Wind said in a statement.  “When complete, Sunrise Wind will deliver enough clean, renewable offshore wind energy to power nearly 600,000 New York homes, while accelerating development of the state’s local supply chain, creating 800 construction jobs and generating substantial investments in workforce training and infrastructure. 

Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind 

The CVOW draft EIS can be found on BOEM’s website, along with the Notice of Availability for the draft EIS, which will publish in the Federal Register on Friday, Dec. 16.  This too will open a 60-day public comment period that will end on Feb. 14, 2023.  In turn, the input received via this process will inform preparation of the final EIS. 

Dominion Energy, which has held a commercial wind energy lease for the Virginia Beach project since Nov. 1, 2013, submitted its most updated Construction and Operation Plan (COP) to develop a commercial wind energy project that includes up to 205 wind turbine generators (WTGs) and their associated offshore and onshore export cables. The CVOW project is located on the U.S. outer continental shelf (OCS) approximately 24 nautical miles (nm) east of Virginia Beach, Virginia.  

Currently operating as a pilot project of two wind turbines generating 6-megawatts each that became operational in 2020, Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) represents a series of firsts for Dominion Energy and the United States as the first offshore wind farm installed in federal waters and the only project developed and owned by an electric utility company.  Now, the commercial-scale project will build on the success of the pilot to provide enough clean, sustainable energy to power up to 660,000 homes.

BOEM will use the findings of the EIS to inform its decision on whether to approve the CVOW COP and, if so, which mitigation measures to require for the commercial project. 

During the comment period, BOEM will hold three virtual public meetings, where the public can learn more about the review process, the EIS schedule, potential impacts from the proposed CVOW project, and proposals to reduce potential impacts. 

To access ZOOM registration links for each meeting, click HERE.

There will also be an opportunity for participants to provide comments on the draft EIS. The public meetings will be held on the following dates and times (all times are Eastern): 

  • Wed., Jan. 25, 2023 – 5:00 pm 
  • Tues., Jan. 31, 2023 – 5:00 pm 
  • Thurs., Feb. 2, 2023 – 11:00 am 

A virtual meeting room will be on BOEM’s website starting on Dec. 16, 2022. It will be available throughout the 60-day comment period and will include information about the draft EIS, as well as how to register for the virtual public meetings and provide comments. 

More information on the proposed CVOW project can be found on BOEM’s website:  https://www.boem.gov/renewable-energy/state-activities/CVOW-C

Sunrise Wind 

Lease OCS-A 0487, consisting of about 67,250 acres, has been held by Deepwater Wind New England, LLC, which assigned it to Sunrise Wind, LLC in 2020.  Bay State Wind, LLC, which held a nearby lease, also designated its lease to Sunrise Wind.   The two designations were consolidated on March 15, 2021 into a resulting lease area of 109,952 acres and shown in the above figure (the effective date of the consolidated lease remains October 1, 2013).  

Similar to the Virginia project, the Sunrise Wind draft EIS can be found on the BOEM’s website, and the accompanying Notice of Availability for the draft EIS will publish in the Federal Register on Dec. 16.  This will then open a 60-day public comment period that ends on Feb. 14, 2023. The input received via this process will inform preparation of the final EIS. 

Sunrise Wind LLC submitted a COP for its proposal to develop a wind energy facility that includes up to 94 WTGs and their associated export cables. The WTGs and offshore substation would be approximately 16.4 nm south of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, approximately 26.5 nm east of Montauk, New York, and 14.5 nm from Block Island, Rhode Island.  The onshore export cables, substation, and grid connection would be located in Holbrook, New York. 

BOEM will use the findings of the EIS to inform its decision on whether to approve the Sunrise Wind COP, and if so, which mitigation measures to require. 

During the Sunrise Wind comment period, BOEM will hold three virtual public meetings, in which the public can learn more about the review process, the EIS schedule, potential impacts from the proposed Sunrise Wind project, and proposals to reduce potential impacts.

There will also be an opportunity for participants to provide comments on the draft EIS.  The public meetings, the ZOOM links for which can be found HERE, will be held on the following dates and times (all times are Eastern): 

  • Wed., Jan. 18, 2023 – 5:00 pm 
  • Thurs., Jan. 19, 2023 – 5:00 pm 
  • Mon., Jan. 23, 2023 – 1:00 pm 

A virtual meeting room will be on BOEM’s website starting on Dec. 16, 2022.  It will be available throughout the 60-day comment period and will include information about the draft EIS, as well as how to register for the virtual public meetings and provide comments. 

More information on the proposed Sunrise Wind project can be found on BOEM’s website: https://www.boem.gov/renewable-energy/state-activities/sunrise-wind-activities.    

Guice Offshore Has the Jones Act-Compliant Supply, Support and Platform Vessels To Help Meet America’s Offshore Wind Goals

In response to the March 2022 National Renewable Energy Laboratory report outlining in part the need for six types of offshore vessels in order to fulfill offshore wind power supply chain needs to reach the United States’ national offshore wind goal of 30 gigawatts (GW) by 2030, Guice Offshore (“GO”) Vice President David Scheyd said:

“Our growing fleet of Jones Act-compliant, dynamically positioned offshore supply vessels, mini supply vessels and platform vessels is well positioned to help meet our nation’s wind energy infrastructure installation and service goal deadlines, whether it’s crew transfer, service, cable laying, subsea work like scour protection or equipment transportation.”

To get a link to the report, entitled “The Demand for a Domestic Offshore Wind Energy Supply Chain,” and its concurrent   report, “America’s Strategy to Secure the Supply Chain for a Robust Clean Energy Transition,” click here:  https://lnkd.in/gXMGRmqj

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