Ideas Sought for Offshore Wind Projects in US Territories

An offshore wind farm at sunset
Updated Published

The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is seeking input for foundational environmental and socioeconomic studies related to potential offshore wind energy projects in US territories.

BOEM is also calling on entities within the US territories that possess the necessary capabilities, expertise, and interest to engage in environmental monitoring and conduct these studies.

To formally gather ideas for these baseline studies, the bureau has issued a request for letters of interest (LOI) and a request for information (RFI) to identify entities in the US territories with the required capabilities. The deadline for submitting responses to the LOI and RFI is August 23, 2024.

US territories include five inhabited regions: American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. 

Additionally, the US has nine uninhabited territories: Baker Island, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Midway Atoll, Navassa Island, Palmyra Atoll, and Wake Island. 

The US also claims two more territories, Bajo Nuevo Bank and Serranilla Bank, though these are disputed with Colombia and Jamaica.

Rodney Cluck, chief of BOEM’s environmental studies program, stated: “BOEM develops, funds, and manages rigorous scientific research to ensure our decisions are informed by the best science and indigenous knowledge available. Additional research focused on the US territories will increase our understanding of these important areas, and the potential impacts of offshore wind energy development on their residents and resources.”

Under the current administration, the Department of the Interior has approved the nation’s first eight commercial-scale offshore wind projects, conducted four offshore wind lease auctions, and held the first-ever sales offshore the Pacific and Gulf Coasts. To date, the Department has approved over 10 GW of clean energy from offshore wind projects.