US offshore energy regulator the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has announced there is “no competitive interest” for an area due to host a proposed floating offshore wind pilot project, clearing the way for the state of Maine to secure a lease for the area.
Maine would own the up to 144MW Gulf of Maine Floating Offshore Wind Research Array, which is being developed by the University of Maine, Mitsubishi Corporation and RWE. The north-east state applied for a research lease for the 40km2 site in 2021.
Now that BOEM has determined there is no competitive interest in the Gulf of Maine, the agency will start an environmental review of potential impacts from offshore wind leasing activities associated with the research lease.
According to BOEM, the project could be used to inform any future commercial offshore wind development in the Gulf of Maine, as well as the deployment of floating offshore wind technology nationwide.
In December the first auction was held for offshore floating wind development sites in the US. Five seabed areas off California were provisionally awarded for a combined $757.1 million.