The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is responsible for leasing offshore areas for energy development, including areas for wind energy. The agency has so far awarded 13 commercial offshore wind leases, totaling about 17 GW of capacity.
In response to its request for feedback on the future of its offshore wind program for the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf, our comments to BOEM suggest steps toward developing a robust offshore wind program that will deliver benefits to the public for decades to come. We recommend that BOEM establish more offshore “wind energy areas” in locations that minimize environmental impacts in order to meet its legal mandates and help Atlantic coastal states meet their renewable energy goals. BOEM should also consider streamlining its lengthy process for designating wind energy areas and holding lease sales, and regularly re-evaluate any numerical criteria that it adopts for siting offshore wind.