Interior Department Takes Steps To Strengthen Offshore Clean Energy Development
The Department of the Interior announced that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will publish a proposed rule to update regulations for clean energy development on the US Outer Continental Shelf.
The Department of the Interior announced that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will publish a proposed rule to update regulations for clean energy development on the US Outer Continental Shelf. The proposed regulations would modernize regulations, streamline overly complex and burdensome processes, clarify ambiguous provisions, and enhance compliance provisions in order to decrease costs and uncertainty associated with the deployment of offshore wind facilities. The proposed reforms are estimated to save developers approximately $1 billion over a 20-year period.
“America’s clean energy transition is happening right here and now. Offshore wind will power our communities, advance our environmental justice goals, and stimulate our economy by creating thousands of good-paying union jobs across the nation,” said Secretary Deb Haaland. “Updating these regulations will facilitate the safe and efficient development of offshore wind energy resources, provide certainty to developers, and help ensure a fair return to the US taxpayers.”
The department’s offshore clean energy program has matured over the past 13 years since regulations were first promulgated. BOEM has conducted 11 auctions and manages 27 active commercial leases. Based on this experience, the department has identified opportunities to modernize its regulations to facilitate the development of offshore wind energy resources to meet US climate and renewable energy objectives.
The proposed rule contains the following eight major components:
- Eliminating unnecessary requirements for the deployment of meteorological buoys
- Increasing survey flexibility
- Improving the project design and installation verification process
- Establishing a public renewable energy leasing schedule
- Reforming BOEM’s renewable energy auction regulations
- Tailoring financial assurance requirements and instruments
- Clarifying safety management system regulations
- Revising other provisions and making technical corrections