This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

June 11, 2014

BOEM Issues First Renewable Energy Lease for Ocean Power Testing

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) on June 3 announced that it has issued a lease to Florida Atlantic University (FAU) for marine hydrokinetic energy technology testing offshore Florida to evaluate the use of turbines powered by ocean currents. FAU’s Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center applied for a lease to deploy experimental demonstration devices in an area located approximately 10 to 12 nautical miles offshore Fort Lauderdale.

The proposed project involves the installation of multiple anchored floating "test berths" to evaluate ocean current turbine designs. Each test berth will consist of a buoy anchored to the sea floor to measure ocean conditions and allow ocean current turbine prototypes to be deployed from vessels moored in the Gulf Stream. Now that the lease has been executed, FAU may submit a project plan for BOEM’s review.

BOEM has also awarded five commercial wind energy leases off the Atlantic coast: two non-competitive leases and three competitive leases. BOEM expects to hold additional competitive auctions for wind energy areas offshore Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Jersey later this year. Off the Pacific Coast, BOEM has given the approval for Principle Power, Inc. to submit a formal plan to build a 30-megawatt pilot project using floating wind turbine technology offshore Coos Bay, Oregon. BOEM is also reviewing an application from the National Northwest Marine Energy Center-Oregon State University for a research lease to evaluate wave energy converter performance. See the BOEM news release.