On Oct. 19, 2023, BOEM announced a Draft Wind Energy Area (Draft WEA) in the Gulf of Maine and an accompanying 30-day public comment period. The Draft WEA covers approximately 3,519,067 acres offshore Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, ranging from approximately 23 to 120 miles off the coast. BOEM has also identified three Secondary Areas for Further Analysis (Secondary Areas). These areas are not part of the Draft WEA; however, BOEM seeks additional comment from the public on whether these areas (or a certain portion of them) should receive consideration as Final WEAs, and if so, under what recommended conditions. To submit a formal comment, go to regulations.gov and search for docket number BOEM-2023-0054. BOEM will accept comments through 11:59 pm ET on Nov. 20, 2023.
The Draft WEA and Secondary Areas can be viewed in the Data Explorer under Energy & Infrastructure > Planning Areas.
To identify an area that appears most suitable for floating offshore wind energy leasing and potential development, and taking into consideration possible impacts to coastal and marine resources and ocean users, BOEM collaborated with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) to use an ocean planning model that seeks to identify and minimize conflicts. Read the draft report Draft NCCOS Report: A Wind Energy Area Siting Analysis for the Gulf of Maine Call Area (October 2023).
During the 30-day public comment period, BOEM will hold a series of virtual public meetings to outline data and information used to inform the Draft WEA and to discuss next steps. There will be opportunities for questions and answers; however, to submit a formal comment, go to regulations.gov and search for docket number BOEM-2023-0054. BOEM will accept comments through 11:59 pm ET on Nov. 20, 2023.
Virtual public meetings (for latest information visit the BOEM Gulf of Maine page):
- General Public
- Date: Wed., Nov. 1, 2023
- Time: 5-7pm EST
- Fisheries Meetings
- Environmental Non-Governmental Organizations (eNGOs)
- Date: Thur., Nov. 2, 2023
- Time: 2-4pm EST
- Shipping & Commercial Maritime
- Date: Fri., Nov. 3, 2023
- Time: 10am-12pm EST