The report looks far beyond the New England lease areas, to a possible future in 10 plus years when there are 22 gigawatts of offshore wind production at potential project sites from Cape Hatteras, North Carolina to the Gulf of Maine.
The companies issued the following joint statement:
“The release of the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) marks a significant milestone for the US offshore wind industry and we – the developers of the New England lease areas – appreciate the efforts of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) in completing a critically important step in the permitting process in spite of challenges associated with COVID-19. We also want to thank all of the cooperating agencies for their work.
The SEIS provides an evaluation of the foreseeable cumulative impacts of projects from North Carolina to Maine and provides a framework for future development of the industry given the demand for offshore wind on the US East Coast that can continue to be refined as projects are built.
We’re pleased that the document, while clearly outlining both positive and negative impacts of a future buildout of projects, also makes clear that there is much that can be done to ensure the positive outweighs the negative.
For instance, last year we announced a commitment to a uniform 1 x 1 nautical mile spacing between each turbine located in the New England lease areas – a move does much to eliminate concerns regarding navigational and mariner safety. This layout creates more distance between turbines than any offshore wind projects operating globally, establishing more than 200 transit lanes in all directions through the lease areas and allows the projects to move forward and continue to bring local jobs and direct investment to the US.
We have also made significant commitments to collecting, using, and sharing credible scientific data to ensure that any impacts from projects are well understood and to use science to inform mitigations to the greatest extent possible. We continue to work collaboratively with scientists, federal and state agencies and local communities to ensure responsible coexistence with all users of the New England lease areas.
We look forward to working with BOEM and all stakeholders as we launch a domestic energy transition that will create tens of thousands of jobs, billions in direct, private investments and dramatically reduce the amount of carbon emissions that are a driving factor of climate change.”