BOEM Announces Review of Future Development of Wind Energy Lease Areas Offshore New York and New Jersey

As part of the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of deploying 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is inviting the public to review and comment on a draft potential development of six wind lease areas offshore New York and New Jersey, in an area known as the New York Bight. BOEM estimates that full development of leases in this area, totaling over 488,000 acres, has the potential to create up to 5.6 to 7 GWs of offshore wind energy, enough to power up to two million homes.  

“BOEM welcomes input from diverse stakeholders as we work to meet President Biden’s clean-energy goals that are vitally important to the well-being of the American people,” said BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein. “We look forward to receiving additional public comment to inform this first ever regional environmental review of offshore wind energy development on multiple leases. We are confident that this comprehensive approach can create efficiencies for future project-specific wind energy reviews in a manner that protects the ocean environment and marine life.” 

In February 2022, BOEM held an auction that brought in over $4.3 billion for the rights to six lease areas in the New York Bight – a record amount for any U.S. offshore renewable or conventional energy lease sale.  

This is the first time BOEM has conducted a regional analysis of offshore renewable energy development and operations over multiple lease areas. BOEM decided to take this additional step to complete a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) because of the close proximity of the six lease areas and the timing of when BOEM expects to receive future project plans for review.  

The Draft PEIS analyzes programmatic avoidance, minimization, mitigation, and monitoring measures that BOEM may require as conditions of its approval for any proposed offshore wind projects in the New York Bight. 

This new regional approach is an evolution of BOEM’s process to help ensure timely decisions that advance offshore wind energy development while safeguarding the ocean environment and marine life and reducing conflicts with other ocean uses.  

Additional environmental analyses specific to each proposed wind energy project will build off this programmatic review once BOEM receives individual proposed project plans from the leaseholders.