On Wednesday, June 5, 2013, the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (“BOEM”) issued the Final Sale Notice for the sale of commercial wind energy leases on the Outer Continental Shelf.  The auction is scheduled to take place on July 31, 2013 and will offer 164,750 acres for commercial wind energy leasing off the coast of Rhode Island and Massachusetts.  BOEM will simultaneously auction the area as two separate leases.  The “North Lease Area” will consist of approximately 97,500 acres and is believed to have the potential for 1,955 MW of installed capacity.  The “South Lease Area” is comprised of about 67,250 acres and is believed to have the potential for 1,440 MW of installed capacity.  Under the auction procedures, BOEM will consider both monetary and nonmonetary factors.

In February 2011, former Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and former Secretary of Energy Steven Chu first unveiled a coordinated strategic plan to accelerate the development of offshore wind resources.  In November 2012, BOEM announced the joint intent to hold the first ever competitive lease sales for renewable energy development for offshore wind projects in federal waters.  Proposed Sale Notices were published in the Federal Register on Monday, December 3, 2012.  See December 10, 2012 edition of the WER.  The offshore wind leases are described as being part of the Obama Administration’s all-of-the-above energy strategy to continue to expand domestic energy production.

The view the Final Sale Notice as published in the Federal Register, click here.