The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is asking for comments on the state of Virginia’s bid for a research lease. The lease would cover four sub-blocks in the federally designated Virginia wind energy area and would enable the state to install two meteorological and ocean monitoring platforms for collecting data on wind speed, water levels, waves and bird and bat activities.
Virginia’s Department of Mines Minerals and Energy (DMME) submitted an unsolicited request for a research lease to BOEM in June. The BOEM notice, published this week, calls for expressions of interest from any federal or state agencies interested in research in the same area, along with comments on the proposal’s potential use conflicts and environmental impacts. The 30-day comment period will end on 22 January.
Earlier this year DMME issued a request for proposals for a geological survey of the wind energy area’s seabed. In November, BOEM published a proposed sale notice, laying the groundwork to an auction of commercial leases in 2013. Eight companies have filed an interest.