Interior promotes leasing off Hawaii

Source: Emily Yehle, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, June 24, 2016

The Obama administration is encouraging the development of wind farms off Hawaii, issuing a request for information yesterday to gauge the interest of the offshore wind industry.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell described the move as “another milestone in the President’s plan to support clean, renewable energy from the Nation’s vast wind and solar resources.” Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has so far awarded 11 commercial offshore wind leases throughout the United States.

“Hawaii has important offshore wind energy potential,” Jewell said, “and we will continue our work with stakeholders across the spectrum to create a path forward for sustainable offshore energy development in the right places with the lowest conflicts across the Aloha State.”

BOEM’s call for information asks for public comment on the site conditions and resources of two areas in federal waters off Oahu. The two potential wind leasing areas total 485,000 acres.

BOEM also plans to prepare an environmental assessment on issuing commercial wind leases in the area.

The announcement comes a few weeks after Interior announced a proposal to lease more than 81,000 acres off the coast of New York. That proposed wind lease sale could result in the generation of 700 megawatts (E&ENews PM, June 2).