Wind power companies complete near-shore survey work

BOEM finalizes three new wind energy areas east of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia
August 12, 2023

US Wind, a Maryland-based power company looking to build a wind farm due east of Ocean City, Md., has completed its geotechnical survey of Indian River Bay. The company announced completion of the survey work in a late-June mariner’s briefing.

US Wind has proposed to make landfall for its wind farm project at 3R’s Beach in Delaware Seashore State Park. To see if that proposal is a possibility, the company conducted near-shore geotechnical survey work in the Atlantic Ocean and Indian River Bay throughout parts of 2022 and 2023.

Mike Dunmyer, US Wind’s Delaware development manager, said the data collected from those surveys helps the company determine the best route and installation method for delivering clean energy produced at its offshore wind farms to the grid.

“The process proceeded smoothly from start to finish, and we expect the data analysis to wrap up this fall,” said Dunmeyer in a statement Aug. 1.

US Wind is about halfway through a two-year environmental analysis of its federal permit application, and the company expects a draft environmental impact statement to be issued sometime this fall, said Dunmyer. When that happens, he said, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will schedule public meetings to answer questions and get feedback.

US Wind isn’t the only company interested in hooking its offshore wind energy to the power grid through Delaware, as Danish power company Ørsted is looking to do the same.

As such, Ørsted also conducted near-shore work that ended in late May 2022. In an email Aug. 1, Henry Fawell, company spokesman, said he anticipates announcements related to project activities in Delaware in late August or September.

US Wind has twice been awarded offshore wind renewable energy certificates from the Maryland Public Service Commission – in 2017 for MarWin, which is expected to generate 300 MW, then again in 2021 for Momentum Wind in the same federal lease area, which is expected to generate about 808 MW.

Ørsted has also twice been awarded ORECs from Maryland, first for its Skipjack Wind 1 project, then again for its Skipjack Wind 2 project. Skipjack 1 is expected to generate 120 MW of power, while Skipjack 2 is expected to generate 846 MW of power.

New wind energy areas

In a press release July 31, BOEM announced the final location for three new Wind Energy Areas off the coasts of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.

The three areas total about 356,550 acres – the first is 101,767 acres about 26 nautical miles from Delaware Bay; the second is 78,285 acres about 23.5 nautical miles from Ocean City, Md.; the third is 176,506 acres about 35 nautical miles from the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, off Virginia.

These areas are in addition to the zones closer to shore that are already in the permit processing phase.

BOEM published its notice of intent to prepare an environmental assessment of potential impacts from offshore wind leasing in the areas in the Federal Register on Aug. 1, which initiated a 30-day public comment period.

Comments may be submitted on the web portal and searching for Docket No. BOEM-2023-0034. Click on the “Comment” button below the document link. Enter the required information and comment, then click submit.

Comments can also be mailed to: Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Office of Renewable Energy Programs, 45600 Woodland Road, Mail Stop VAM-OREP, Sterling, VA 20166.

Comments are due no later than Thursday, Aug. 31.


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