The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has announced three final Wind Energy Areas (WEAs) offshore Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia, which were developed following extensive engagement and feedback from states, Tribes, local residents, ocean users, federal government partners, and other members of the public. If fully developed, the final WEAs could support between four and eight gigawatts of energy production.
The three WEAs total approximately 356,550 acres. The first WEA (A-2) is 101,767 acres and located 26 nautical miles (nm) from Delaware Bay. The second WEA (B-1) is 78,285 acres and about 23.5 nm offshore Ocean City, Md. The third WEA (C-1) is 176,506 acres and located about 35 nm from the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, offshore Virginia.
BOEM will publish its Notice of Intent to prepare an environmental assessment of potential impacts from offshore wind leasing in the WEAs in the Federal Register on August 1, 2023, which will initiate a 30-day public comment period. Another public comment period would occur if BOEM decides to move forward with a lease sale in any of the WEAs.
The final WEAs are in comparatively shallow water. BOEM may identify additional WEAs in deepwater areas offshore the U.S. Central Atlantic coast for future leasing once further study of those areas has been done.