In support of the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has completed its environmental review of the proposed Sunrise Wind energy project, which is located approximately 16.4 nautical miles (nm) south of Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., approximately 26.5 nm east of Montauk, N.Y., and 14.5 nm from Block Island, R.I. BOEM estimates the proposed 924-megawatt project will power more than 320,000 homes with clean, renewable energy.
“We carefully considered input from our government partners, key stakeholders and the public for the Final Environmental Impact Statement for Sunrise Wind,” said BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein. “This document represents a thorough and comprehensive analysis of the potential environmental impacts of the project and is another milestone in achieving President Biden’s ambitious clean-energy goals.”
The project plan submitted by Sunrise Wind LLC includes up to 94 wind turbine generators (WTGs) and their associated export cables. The onshore export cables, substation, and grid connection is located in Holbrook, N.Y. The lease area covers approximately 86,823 acres.
In response to comments from government partners, key stakeholders, and the public, and after considering project feasibility, BOEM developed a preferred alternative that includes fewer turbines (84 WTGs) to accommodate geotechnical feasibility of the project, reduce impacts to benthic habitat and Atlantic cod, and meet the energy needs of New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. BOEM considers all alternatives in the development of its final decision.
The “Notice of Availability for a Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Sunrise Wind, LLC’s Proposed Sunrise Wind Farm Offshore New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island” will publish in the Federal Register on Dec. 15, 2023.
The EIS analyzes the potential environmental impacts of the activities laid out in Sunrise Wind’s construction and operations plan. The EIS is available on BOEM’s website.
BOEM plans to issue a Record of Decision on whether to approve the project early next year, and, if so, identify any conditions of approval.
On Dec. 16, 2022, BOEM published a Draft EIS, initiating a 60-day public comment period that closed Feb. 14, 2023. BOEM held three virtual public meetings to solicit additional feedback on the Draft EIS from Tribal Nations, local community members, commercial fishing interests and other ocean users. BOEM considered these comments and stakeholder feedback when developing the Final EIS, a critical step in the environmental review of the project.
Since the start of the Biden-Harris administration, the Department of the Interior has approved the nation’s first six commercial-scale offshore wind energy projects. BOEM has held four offshore wind lease auctions, which have brought in almost $5.5 billion in high bids, including a record-breaking sale offshore New York and New Jersey and the first-ever sales offshore the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico coasts. BOEM has also advanced the process to explore additional opportunities for offshore wind energy development in the U.S., including in the Gulf of Maine and offshore Oregon and the U.S. Central Atlantic coast. The Department has also taken steps to evolve its approach to offshore wind to drive towards union-built projects and a domestic-based supply chain.
Bidenomics and the President’s Investing in America agenda are growing the American economy from the middle out and bottom up – from rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, to driving over half a trillion dollars in new private sector manufacturing and clean energy investments in the United States, to creating good-paying jobs and building a clean energy economy that will combat the climate crisis and make our communities more resilient.
For more information on the Sunrise Wind project, go to BOEM’s website.
— BOEM —
The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is responsible for America’s offshore energy and mineral resources. The bureau promotes energy independence, environmental protection and economic development through responsible, science-based management of energy and mineral resources on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf.