BOEM Identifies Two Draft Wind Energy Areas off Oregon
The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has identified two draft wind energy areas (WEAs) off the coast of Oregon and opened a 60-day public review and comment period on those WEAs.
The draft WEAs cover approximately 219,568 acres offshore southern Oregon, with their closest points ranging from approximately 18 to 32 mi. off the coast. A map of the draft WEAs can be found on BOEM’s Oregon state activities page.
Oregon has major opportunities for offshore wind deployment, which will create good-paying jobs and new economic activity. Due to the deep waters off of Oregon’s coast, these areas are also an opportunity to accelerate U.S. leadership in floating technologies. The draft WEAs announced today would tap up to 2.6 GW of Oregon’s potential.
To identify the draft WEAs, BOEM used a comprehensive process that involved outreach to potentially impacted stakeholders and ocean users, tribes, and the public to identify the potential offshore locations that appear most suitable for floating offshore wind energy development. The process took into consideration possible impacts to local coastal and marine resources and ocean users. BOEM collaborated with NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science to use an ocean planning model that seeks to identify and minimize conflicts.
The two draft WEAs reflect changes based on public, stakeholder and interagency engagement from the Oregon Call Area that the Department of the Interior released for public comment in April 2022. Public input from this new comment period will be considered before formally designating final WEAs off the coast of Oregon.
BOEM will hold public meetings to outline data and information used to inform the draft WEAs and to discuss next steps. The meetings will be open to the public, with one specifically designed for engaging the fishing community. BOEM will also convene an Oregon Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force meeting to discuss the draft WEAs and next steps in offshore wind energy planning in Oregon. Additional information on the webinars will be available on the BOEM Oregon state activities page.
To comment on the draft WEAs, visit regulations.gov and search for docket number BOEM-2023-0033.
BOEM will accept public comments through 11:59 pm EST on October 16, 2023.