US plans environmental review of Sunrise Wind project off New York

(WASHINGTON) — As part of the Biden-Harris administration’s goal to deploy 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind energy by 2030, the Department of the Interior on Monday announced that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) plans to conduct an environmental review of a proposed commercial-scale wind project off the coast of New York.

“The Interior Department is committed to confronting climate change, creating thousands of good-paying jobs, and paving the way for the nation’s transition to a cleaner energy future. Offshore wind is a critical component of that ambitious agenda,” said Interior Secretary Deb Haaland. “The demand for offshore wind energy has never been greater — we will continue to invest in the infrastructure to develop the offshore wind industry and to help attract the domestic supply chain.”

Offshore Wind Turbine
American Geophysical Union photo

The project proposes to build up to 122 wind turbines, which would generate 880 to 1,300 megawatts of renewable energy and power nearly 600,000 homes. The project would help New York meet its clean energy goal of achieving 70 percent electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

The lease area is in federal waters approximately 31 miles east of Montauk, N.Y.; 19 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.; and 17 miles from Block Island, R.I.

BOEM’s notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) opens a 30-day public comment period on the proposed construction and operations plan (COP) submitted by Sunrise Wind LLC, a joint venture between Orsted North America Inc. and Eversource Investment LLC.

During the 30-day public comment period, BOEM is seeking information to determine the scope of important resources and issues, potential impacts to the environment, reasonable alternatives, and mitigation measures to be analyzed in the EIS. After identifying the scope of the review, BOEM will conduct a full environmental analysis as part of the EIS and determine whether to approve the COP.

BOEM will accept comments via U.S. mail, through, and during three virtual scoping meetings where stakeholders and other members of the public can learn more about the project before commenting for the record. The meeting dates and times are:

Thursday, Sept. 16; 5:30 p.m. (ET)
Monday, Sept. 20; 1 p.m. (ET)
Wednesday, Sept. 22; 5:30 p.m. (ET)

The comment period will close at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on Sept. 30.

More information about the proposed offshore wind project, BOEM’s environmental review, and how to provide public comments may be found at BOEM’s Sunrise Wind webpage.

– U.S. Department of the Interior

By Professional Mariner Staff