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Distributed Energy Resources

BOEM Releases Draft Wind Energy Area in the Gulf of Maine

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on Oct. 19 identified a Draft Wind Energy Area in the Gulf of Maine, opening a 30-day public review and comment period.   

The Draft WEA covers approximately 3,519,067 acres offshore Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, ranging from approximately 23-120 miles off the coast.

The Gulf of Maine has significant opportunities for offshore wind energy development and due to the deep waters within the Gulf of Maine, these areas are also an opportunity to accelerate U.S. leadership in floating technologies, BOEM said.  

The Draft WEA has a capacity of over 40 gigawatts, which exceeds the current combined offshore wind energy planning goals for the Gulf of Maine states --  10 GW for Massachusetts and 3 GW for Maine.

“Future adjustments to the Draft WEA will likely be made after incorporating feedback during the comment period, while striving to retain sufficient area to meet the Gulf of Maine states’ planning goals,” BOEM said.
To identify the Draft WEA, BOEM worked with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science to develop an ocean planning model that identifies and minimizes conflicts with coastal and marine resources and ocean users.

BOEM also met with and incorporated feedback from Tribes, fishers, and the public to refine the model and inform the potential offshore locations that appear most suitable for floating offshore wind energy development, it said.

During the 30-day public comment period starting on Oct. 19, BOEM will hold a series of public meetings to outline data and information used to inform the Draft WEA and to discuss next steps. Additional information on the public meetings will be available on BOEM’s Gulf of Maine webpage

To comment on the Draft WEA, go to regulations.gov and search for docket number BOEM-2023-54.

BOEM will accept comments through 11:59 pm ET on Nov. 20, 2023.