BOEM seeks public input on Beacon Wind offshore site

BOEM seeks public input on Beacon Wind offshore site
(Credit: Beacon Wind LLC)

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has opened a 30-day public comment period for a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for Equinor and BP’s proposed Beacon Wind wind project offshore Massachusetts.

Equinor and BP say Beacon Wind will be developed in three phases, with the first bringing 1,230 MW online for use in New York. A second part of the Beacon Wind lease area, Beacon Wind 2, is similar in size to Beacon Wind 1 and will be developed in the future, the companies said. Beacon Wind 2 is capable of interconnecting to the grid along the East Coast from New Jersey to Massachusetts.

Credit: Beacon Wind LLC

The draft EA analyzes the potential environmental impacts of proposed site assessment activities, which consist of 35 deployments and removals of a single suction bucket foundation at 26 locations within the lease area to gather information to support the engineering design of wind turbine and offshore substation foundations that would potentially be installed within the lease area for a future Beacon Wind project.  

On Nov. 7, 2023, BOEM published a “Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Assessment for Additional Site Assessment Activities on Beacon Wind, LLC’s Renewable Energy Lease OCS-A 0520.” The amended SAP and Draft EA can be found on BOEM’s webpage.  

Two virtual public meetings are proposed during the 30-day comment period for the Draft EA.

  • Friday, February 23, 2024; 1 p.m. eastern
  • Wednesday, February 28, 2024; 5 p.m. eastern

In late 2023, the New York State Public Service Commission denied petitions filed by a group of developers and a state renewable energy trade association seeking billions of dollars in additional funding from consumers for four proposed offshore wind projects and 86 land-based renewable projects.

Following the denial, developers who filed the petition, including subsidiaries of Orsted, Equinor, and BP, said that they were reviewing the Commission’s decision before reassessing their offshore projects, like Orsted’s 924-MW Sunrise Wind, Equinor/bp’s 816-MW Empire Wind 1, 1,260-MW Empire Wind 2 and 1,230-MW Beacon Wind.

Many renewable energy sectors continued to grow in 2023, but it was a rough year for U.S. offshore wind. Just days into 2024, BP and Equinor announced the termination of Empire Wind 2.

Renewable Energy World is tracking U.S. offshore wind cancellations as they are announced – see our list of the projects that met an unfortunate fate.

Common causes of cancellations include inflation and supply chain disruptions, caused in large part by the war in Ukraine. Developers often expressed openness to continuing projects under offtake agreements, but that sentiment seldom led to survival.

If a wind project you love is in trouble, please drop us a line if you want to talk about it.