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Offshore Wind Developers Could Save $1 Billion Thanks to Streamlined New Clean Energy Rules Proposal

Offshore Wind Developers Could Save $1 Billion Thanks to Streamlined New Clean Energy Rules Proposal
  • Get an advanced copy of the proposed new Rules HERE.

It’s estimated that offshore wind developers will save approximately $1 billion over a 20-year period thanks to updated regulations for clean energy development on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) that were proposed this week on January 12, 2023.

The first Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) renewable energy regulations were promulgated in 2009 by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM’s) predecessor, the Minerals Management Service (MMS).  During these past 13 years, the BOEM’s renewable energy program has substantially matured as the agency has conducted 11 offshore energy leasing auctions, as well as issued and managed 27 active commercial clean energy leases.

Based on this experience, the BOEM has identified opportunities to modernize its regulations to facilitate the development of offshore wind energy resources to meet U.S. climate and renewable energy objectives. The proposed new Rules are expected to streamline overly complex and burdensome regulatory processes for offshore wind developers, clarify ambiguous provisions and enhance compliance provisions in order to decrease costs and uncertainty associated with the deployment of offshore wind facilities.

They also contain reforms identified by the BOEM and recommended by industry since 2010, including proposals for incremental funding of decommissioning accounts, more flexible geophysical and geotechnical survey submission requirements, new processes to streamline approval of meteorological (met) buoys, revised project verification procedures and greater clarification of safety requirements.  They would also update the BOEM’s renewable energy auction process.

The proposed new Rule, an advance copy of which can be accessed HERE, contains eight major components, including:

  • Eliminating unnecessary requirements for the deployment of meteorological buoys
  • Increasing survey flexibility
  • Improving the project design and installation verification process
  • Establishing a public Renewable Energy Leasing Schedule
  • Reforming BOEM’s renewable energy auction regulations
  • Tailoring financial assurance requirements and instruments
  • Clarifying safety management system regulations
  • Revising other provisions and making technical corrections

In the coming days, a notice of proposed rulemaking will publish in FederalRegister.gov for a 60-day comment period through Regulations.gov.

Over the past two years, the U.S. Interior Department has launched the American offshore wind industry with approval of the nation’s first two commercial scale offshore wind projects and evolving its approach to offshore wind to drive towards union-built projects and a domestic based supply chain.

During that time, the BOEM has held three offshore wind lease auctions, including a record-breaking sale offshore New York and the first-ever offshore sale on the U.S. West Coast in California

The agency also has initiated environmental review of 10 offshore wind projects and advanced the process to explore additional Wind Energy Areas in the Gulf of Mexico, Oregon, Gulf of Maine and Central Atlantic.

By 2025, the Department of the Interior plans to potentially hold up to four additional offshore lease sales and complete the review of at least 16 plans to construct and operate commercial, offshore wind energy facilities, which would represent more than 22 gigawatts of clean energy for the nation.

 

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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