Monday, November 5, 2012

Offshore wind energy gets one step nearer

We thank Seth Jaffe of the Foley Hoag law firm for the following update.

On Friday, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management released its Environmental Assessment for the Massachusetts outer continental shelf offshore Wind Energy Area. The EA does not permit construction of any turbines. It merely provides the basis for issuance of leases, pursuant to which the leaseholders would have the authority to perform the necessary detailed environmental and feasibility studies to determine whether to proceed with construction of turbines. 
According to Greenwire, Jack Clarke of Mass Audubon has already pretty much blessed the EA. While BOEM has proposed an alternative that would eliminate approximately 25% of the WEA to increase protection for Right Whales, the preferred alternative remains to lease the entire WEA and, if I had to guess, it looks as though BOEM will move forward to lease the entire area.
BOEM will take comments on the EA through December 3. 

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