In order to increase renewable energy production in offshore waters and help the Administration meet its commitment to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) have entered into an agreement in support of planning and reviewing renewable energy projects on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).
The agreement will allow USACE to provide BOEM additional scientific and technical resources needed to evaluate offshore wind projects on the OCS. While the scope of the agreement covers all renewable energy activities in the Atlantic, the initial focus will be on the USACE supporting the review of the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Commercial project and the Kitty Hawk project, offshore North Carolina.
The partnership between BOEM and USACE is a result of President Biden’s Executive Order 14008, Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, which directed interagency consultation between the Department of the Interior and Department of Defense (DOD) in order to increase renewable energy production on public lands and in offshore waters, while ensuring robust protection for our lands, waters, and biodiversity and creating good-paying jobs.
“This agreement shows the value of a whole-of-government approach to clean energy development,” said BOEM Director Amanda Lefton. “BOEM has a long history of successful collaboration with the DOD and USACE on energy and marine mineral projects. Additionally, our state partnerships are vital to the advancement of BOEM’s renewable energy program.”
“This partnership is a great example of federal agencies coming together for a common goal: to advance renewable energy solutions for the nation,” said USACE North Atlantic Division Programs Director Karen Baker. “We look forward to applying USACE scientific and technical support to enable the BOEM-led team.”
The agreement gives BOEM access to USACE technical expertise while planning new leasing in the Atlantic and reviewing National Environmental Policy Act documents, Construction and Operations Plans (project proposals), Facility Design Reports, and Fabrication and Installation Reports.
"The Commonwealth of Virginia and Old Dominion University were pleased to work with BOEM and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to develop this expanded review process,” said Virginia Governor Ralph Northam. “We hope that it will provide a clear line of sight for offshore wind development and signals to the world that Virginia and the United States are leaders in offshore wind."
“I applaud the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to advancing clean energy jobs and tackling climate change through additional support for offshore wind development,” said North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper. “North Carolina is a national leader in clean energy and manufacturing, and partnerships like this one support both our environment and economy."
The demand for renewable energy has never been greater. Recent technological advances have enhanced the cost effectiveness of renewable energy projects, and now their tremendous economic potential provides a promising path that will diversify our national energy portfolio, while at the same time combat climate change, create good-paying jobs, and encourage investment in communities.