by Hadley Barndollar, New Hampshire Bulletin
The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is moving forward with its exploration of offshore wind potential in the Gulf of Maine, announcing a public comment period that begins April 26 and lasts 45 days.
The public is invited to provide input on commercial wind energy development in areas off the coast of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine.
BOEM said the comment period represents an early step in the commercial planning and leasing process, and is required by federal regulations.
“BOEM is committed to transparent, inclusive, and data-driven processes, and public input is essential to helping us determine areas that may be suitable for offshore wind development in the Gulf of Maine,” BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein said in a statement. “We are still early in the planning and leasing process, and we look forward to the multiple future opportunities for engagement.”
Requested by Gov. Chris Sununu in 2019, BOEM convened a Gulf of Maine wind power task force with New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts. Sununu, in an introductory letter as part of a state report last year on the potential for offshore wind, wrote, “New Hampshire is uniquely situated to benefit from this new industry in ways that will attract investment, boost the state’s economy, and create good paying jobs.”
The Gulf of Maine Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force will continue to guide the process, in addition to public input and government and tribal consultations.
Comments can be submitted electronically through June 12 at http://www.regulations.gov. In the search box at the top of the webpage, commenters are advised to enter “BOEM-2023-0025” and then click “search.” Instructions will be provided on how to submit public comments.
BOEM will host its third Gulf of Maine meeting May 10-11 in Bangor, Maine. Additional information can be found at https://www.boem.gov/Gulf-of-Maine/.
This story was written by Hadley Barndollar, a reporter at the New Hampshire Bulletin, where this story first appeared.
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