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BOEM Announces Environmental Review Of Future Development Of California Offshore Wind Leases

Supporting the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of deploying 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030 and 15 GW of floating offshore wind energy capacity by 2035, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced it will conduct a regional environmental review of potential development activities on the five offshore wind lease areas off California’s central and north coasts. A Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) will publish in the Federal Register on Dec. 20, 2023, initiating a 60-day comment period. The input gathered during the comment period will inform the scope and alternatives of the PEIS. 

“The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to responsibly harnessing the clean energy and economic potential of offshore wind in California,” said Doug Boren, BOEM Pacific Regional Director. “This regional environmental analysis will help ensure that timely decisions can be made to advance offshore wind while protecting the ocean environment, marine life, and other ocean uses. This approach also ensures both a comprehensive review of the California areas and improved efficiencies for future offshore wind project reviews.”

The PEIS will describe the potential impacts of federal offshore wind energy development activities off the coast of California, as well as the change in those impacts that could result from adopting programmatic mitigation measures. BOEM will conduct subsequent site-specific NEPA analyses and consultations for individual proposed wind energy projects as construction and operations plans for those projects are received.

Additional information on the California Offshore Wind Energy PEIS and scoping webinars is available on the BOEM website at https://www.boem.gov/caoffshorewindpeis.

The five offshore wind energy lease areas off the coast of California were awarded through BOEM’s December 2022 auction that brought in over $757 million and will result in over $117 million for workforce training programs and U.S. domestic supply chain investments for the floating offshore wind energy industry.

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