and economic benefits of offshore wind, Delaware’s most abundant renewable resource," said DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara. "BOEMRE’s leadership in facilitating progress on offshore wind has been critical in making the vision of producing clean energy for Delaware off our own shores a reality."
To ascertain competitive interest, BOEMRE published a Request for Interest (RFI) in the Federal Register regarding wind energy development in federal waters offshore Delaware. The bureau received only one response from a qualified organization to the April 2010 RFI --Bluewater Wind Delaware, LLC. BOEMRE then published a second Federal Register notice in January 2011 to determine whether competitive interest existed for the area proposed by Bluewater Wind. The bureau did not receive any additional expressions of interest. To review public comments submitted in response to these notices, go to: http://www.boemre.gov/offshore/RenewableEnergy/stateactivities.htm
In response to concerns raised in these comments, BOEMRE will collaborate with the U.S. Coast Guard to better quantify the amount and location of vessel activity in the proposed lease area and will evaluate methods to analyze the effects of wind energy facilities and infrastructure on marine vessel traffic. Additionally, in BOEMRE’s National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review of potential effects associated issuing a commercial wind energy lease and site characterization activities, the bureau will consider potential effects on commercial fishing and other activities within the proposed lease area prior to issuing the commercial lease to Bluewater Wind. A more detailed NEPA analysis will cover the potential impacts to these resources from Bluewater’s proposed wind facility installation, operations, and decommissioning activities; these activities will be described in the company’s construction and operation plan submitted after the commercial lease is executed.
BOEMRE will soon publish the decision to move forward with the noncompetitive leasing process in the Federal Register as a Determination of No Competitive Interest (DNCI), as required by offshore renewable energy regulations.