Renewable Energy Program (BOEM)
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 authorized the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to issue leases for renewable energy development on the Outer Continental Shelf. BOEM’s renewable energy program consists of four phases: 1) planning, 2) leasing, 3) site assessment, and 4) construction and operations. Learn more about BOEM’s Renewable Energy Program and guidance on the process of acquiring offshore wind commercial leases.
BOEM also funds and manages scientific research to inform decision-making for renewable energy projects, including studies on birds, bats, fishes, fisheries, marine mammals, other protected species, and environmental monitoring. Learn more about completed studies.
Draft Porposed Guidelines for Providing Information on Lighting and Marking of Structures Supporting Renewable Energy Development (BOEM, 2019)
In October 2019, BOEM released draft guidelines for lighting and marking structures on offshore wind energy projects, intended as recommendations for lessees to include as part of their Site Assessment Plan (SAP) and Construction and Operations Plan (COP). One of the aims of this guidance is to not cause undue harm or damage to natural resources, including wildlife. Public comment periods runs until Nov 25, 2019. Learn More; Download draft guidelines
Potential Impacts to Marine Mammals and Sea Turtles from Offshore Wind: Research Framework Workshop (MassCEC and BOEM, 2018)
In May 2018, The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, BOEM, and the New England Aquarium held a workshop to inform the development of a scientific research framework to guide studies of impacts to marine mammals and sea turtles in relation to offshore wind energy development, with a focus on baleen whales and sea turtles. Download workshop proceedings; Download research framework document
Best Management Practices Workshop for Atlantic Offshore Wind Facilities & Protected Species (BOEM, 2018)
The BOEM Office of Renewable Energy Programs held a public workshop from March 7-9 2017 to inform best management practices for avoiding, reducing, and monitoring impacts to marine protected species from the development of offshore wind on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf. This workshop aimed to 1) increase understanding of the science and regulations for protecting marine species from the effects of offshore wind, 2) understand stakeholder perspectives on protected species mitigation and monitoring, and 3) identify and discuss best management practices to avoid and minimize the effects of offshore wind development on protected species. Visit workshop page
Mid-Atlantic Regional Ocean Action Plan (Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body, 2016)
The Mid-Atlantic Regional Ocean Action Plan promotes ocean ecosystem health and sustainable ocean use and describes a series of collaborative actions and best practices related to the use of data, interjurisdictional coordination, and stakeholder engagement to help guide federal, state, tribal and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council activities. Download here
National Offshore Wind Strategy (DOE and BOEM, 2016)
BOEM and the Department of Energy (DOE) jointly produced a national strategy to facilitate the responsible development of offshore wind energy in the United States. Download here
Photo credits: Short-beaked common dolphins © Anthony Pierce