The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the Army Corps of Engineers announced Monday a joint effort to help increase renewable energy production in U.S. offshore waters.
The agreement between the bureau and the corps is to help plan and review renewable energy projects on the Outer Continental Shelf. Additionally, the partnership is intended to help the Biden administration meet its commitment to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030, according to the bureau.
The partnership between the two organizations is a result of President Biden’s Executive Order 14008, Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, which directed interagency consultation between the Department of the Interior and Department of Defense, or DOD, in order to increase renewable energy production on public lands and in offshore waters, while ensuring robust protection for our lands, waters, and biodiversity and creating good-paying jobs.
“This agreement shows the value of a whole-of-government approach to clean energy development,” said Bureau Director Amanda Lefton, in a statement. “BOEM has a long history of successful collaboration with the DOD and USACE on energy and marine mineral projects. Additionally, our state partnerships are vital to the advancement of BOEM’s renewable energy program.”
The agreement will allow the Corps to provide the bureau more scientific and technical resources needed to evaluate offshore wind projects on the Outer Continental Shelf.
“This partnership is a great example of federal agencies coming together for a common goal: to advance renewable energy solutions for the nation,” said Corps North Atlantic Division Programs Director Karen Baker. “We look forward to applying USACE scientific and technical support to enable the BOEM-led team.”
While the scope of the agreement covers all renewable energy activities in the Atlantic, the initial focus will be on the Corps supporting the review of the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Commercial project and the Kitty Hawk project.
“I applaud the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to advancing clean energy jobs and tackling climate change through additional support for offshore wind development,” said North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper. “North Carolina is a national leader in clean energy and manufacturing, and partnerships like this one support both our environment and economy.”
Officials said the agreement gives BOEM access to the Corps’ technical expertise while planning new leasing in the Atlantic and reviewing National Environmental Policy Act documents, construction and operations plans or project proposals, facility design reports and fabrication and installation reports.
Officials noted that recent technological advances have enhanced the cost-effectiveness of renewable energy projects. The economic potential provides a path that to diversifying the national energy portfolio while combatting climate change, creating jobs and encouraging investment in communities, the bureau said.