The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) yesterday announced the publication of its environmental assessment (EA) of proposed wind energy related research activities offshore Virginia.

The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) has submitted a research activities plan that describes the proposed construction, operation, maintenance and eventual decommissioning of the Virginia Offshore Wind Technology Advancement Project (VOWTAP). DMME’s proposed project would consist of the installation and operation of two 6-megawatt wind turbine generators and cable to shore. The proposed project would be located 24 nautical miles off the coast of Virginia Beach adjacent to the Virginia commercial lease area.

This research project would inform the future production of offshore wind energy.

BOEM’s EA considers reasonably foreseeable environmental and socioeconomic consequences associated with the approval of the offshore wind research activities. BOEM will consider public comments on the EA before determining whether to issue a Finding of No Significant Impact, or conduct additional analyses under NEPA.

The EA is available for a 30-day comment period, which ends on Jan. 2, 2015. To view the EA and submit comments, visit BOEM’s website at: (click on the “Open Comment Documents” link). You may also deliver comments to the following address.

Office of Renewable Energy Programs
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
381 Elden Street, HM 1328
Herndon, Virginia 20170-4817

In addition to the request for written comments, BOEM is hosting an open house poster session on Wednesday, December 17, 2014 (5:00 to 8:00 pm) to discuss the EA at the following location.

Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center
717 General Booth Blvd.
Virginia Beach, VA 23451

More information about this project can be found here: