On Friday, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management released its Environmental Assessment for the Massachusetts
outer continental shelf offshore Wind Energy Area. The EA does
not permit construction of any turbines. It merely provides
the basis for issuance of leases, pursuant to which the
leaseholders would have the authority to perform the necessary
detailed environmental and feasibility studies to determine whether
to proceed with construction of turbines.
According to Greenwire, Jack Clarke of Mass
Audubon has already pretty much blessed the EA. While BOEM has
proposed an alternative that would eliminate approximately 25% of
the WEA to increase protection for Right Whales, the preferred
alternative remains to lease the entire WEA and, if I had to guess,
it looks as though BOEM will move forward to lease the entire
BOEM will take comments on the EA through December 3.
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After decades of speculation about offshore wind’s future in the United States, the industry that has long powered grids in Europe has finally arrived in the Northeast. In the last year America’s first offshore wind project--off the coast of Rhode Island--started spinning and delivering power to the grid, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law a bill authorizing the procurement of 1,600 megawatts of offshore wind, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo committed to 2,400 megawatts of offshore wind off the coast of New York by 2030. Meanwhile, major utilities have announced agreements with developers to purchase energy generated from the projects planned for the eastern seaboard.
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Virtually all business transactions involve some level of environmental risk. The key is to identify all of the potential risks and collect sufficient information about them early in the due diligence period of a transaction.
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