Offshore Wind: Driving Factors and Recent Impediments

Pratt's Energy Law Report

The main development in offshore wind of late is the Department of the Interior’s supplemental environmental review of the proposed Vineyard Wind project, discussed below. Until a final environmental review is completed, we are unable to predict with certainty how many offshore wind construction plans will be approved this year by the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management (“BOEM”) in the Department of the Interior. This article contains a brief review of the latest developments in offshore wind, including state laws and policies, federal laws and permitting practices, and the impact of COVID-19.

States are Driving the Offshore Wind Process along the Atlantic Coast

Although developments offshore California and Hawaii are still being considered, they have been hampered by objections from the Department of Defense to siting wind farms near adjacent military bases. Meanwhile, development along the mid-Atlantic and New England coasts remains strong. Governors are taking the lead in promoting offshore wind by adopting new laws and/or executive orders and promoting renewable energy, including offshore wind. Their goal is to bring in some of the more than 40,000 new offshore wind jobs predicted by 2030.

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“Offshore Wind: Driving Factors and Recent Impediments,” by Joan M. Bondareff and Dana S. Merkel was published in the September 2020 edition of Pratt’s Energy Law Report (Vol. 20, No. 8), an A.S. Pratt Publication, LexisNexis. Reprinted with permission.

This article was first published in Blank Rome’s MAINBRACE: Special Offshore Wind Edition (June 2020).