The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has announced that it will prepare an environmental assessment (EA) for Southern Company’s plan for a meteorological tower or platform off Tybee Island, Georgia.
The agency invited stakeholders including federal agencies, states, tribes, local governments and the public to participate in gauging the consequences of a lease being issued for the planned data-collection facility.
Southern, a utility based in Atlanta, has applied for a five-year lease for wind testing on three blocks totalling 70km2 on the Outer Continental Shelf at 6-20km off the island. The Atlantic waters in the area are 12-20m deep.
The US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has estimated an offshore wind potential of 60GW within 93km off the Georgia coast.
BOEM published its Notice of Intent to prepare the EA on 14 December, just one day after it announced it would start assessing developer interest in wind projects off another south-eastern state, North Carolina.