Maryland Begins Offshore Wind Energy Development Process
The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) announced on November 8 that it is moving toward wind energy development offshore Maryland on the Outer Continental Shelf. BOEMRE, in partnership with the Maryland Energy Administration, has issued a Request for Interest (RFI) for renewable energy development to test the interest in the development. The agency will use industry responses to gauge specific interest in the commercial development of wind resources off the state's shores. If there is no competitive interest, the agency may proceed with the noncompetitive lease process. The process will include public participation as well as an environmental review.
The western edge of the RFI area is located approximately 10 nautical miles from the Ocean City, Maryland coast and the eastern edge is approximately 27 nautical miles from the same coast. The area was selected through consultation with the Maryland Renewable Energy Task Force, an intergovernmental coordination group led by BOEMRE. BOEMRE's RFI also invites all interested and affected parties to comment and provide information that will be useful in considering the area of interest for commercial wind energy leases, including information on environmental issues and concerns. See the BOEMRE press release and the November 9 Federal Register notice. Comments should be submitted by January 10, 2011, and may be mailed to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, Office of Offshore Alternative Energy Programs, 381 Elden Street, Mail Stop 4090, Herndon, Virginia 20170.