The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has initiated a public consultation regarding the potential development of six wind lease areas off the coasts of New York and New Jersey, collectively known as the New York Bight. Covering more than 488,000 acres, these lease areas are estimated to have the capacity to generate 5.6 to 7 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind energy, capable of powering up to two million homes.
BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein emphasized the importance of input from diverse stakeholders in aligning with President Biden's clean-energy goals. She expressed confidence that the comprehensive regional environmental review would streamline future project-specific assessments while prioritizing the protection of the ocean environment and marine life.
The decision to conduct a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for the New York Bight stems from a record-setting auction held in February 2022, generating over US$4.3 billion for the rights to six lease areas. This marks the first time BOEM has undertaken a regional analysis of offshore renewable energy development and operations across multiple lease areas.
BOEM's Draft PEIS analyzes programmatic measures, including avoidance, minimization, mitigation, and monitoring, that may be imposed as conditions for approving proposed offshore wind projects in the New York Bight. The regional approach aims to ensure timely decisions that promote offshore wind energy development while addressing environmental concerns and reducing conflicts with other ocean uses.
The Notice of Availability for the Draft PEIS is set to be published in the Federal Register on January 12, 2024, initiating a 45-day public comment period concluding on February 26, 2024. BOEM encourages additional information on resources, potential environmental impacts, and measures outlined in the PEIS.
As part of the consultation process, BOEM will conduct three in-person and two virtual public meetings, fostering engagement and collaboration in the development of offshore wind in the New York Bight.