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America Aims to Reach Climate Goals with Revised Offshore Wind Energy Rules

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David Dixon (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The U.S. Department of the Interior has announced new regulations for wind energy facilities on the outer continental shelf in order to achieve climate goals. These changes are projected to save developers $1 billion over 20 years by simplifying processes, providing clarity, and reducing compliance costs, according to the statement.

“Updating these regulations will facilitate the safe and efficient development of offshore wind energy resources, provide certainty to developers and help ensure a fair return to the U.S. taxpayers,” U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said in the release.

The U.S. Department of the Interior announced on Thursday that it will be revising regulations for wind energy facilities on the outer continental shelf. These changes aim to support the country’s climate goals and are projected to save developers $1 billion over 20 years by simplifying processes, clarifying ambiguities, and reducing compliance costs. This announcement comes shortly after the appointment of Elizabeth Klein, a former lawyer in the Obama and Clinton administrations, as the head of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, who will oversee offshore oil, gas and wind development.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), which oversees offshore energy development, has recently approved the first two commercial wind projects in the US and held three lease auctions, including the first one off the coast of California, as part of its efforts to promote clean energy. The BOEM also investigating the possibility of expanding offshore wind energy to other regions, such as the Gulf of Mexico.

The Department of Interior plans to hold several more auctions for offshore wind energy development and evaluate the construction of at least 16 new facilities by 2025, which would generate a total of 22 GW of clean energy.

The proposed rule changes include the following major components:

  • Eliminating redundant regulations for the deployment of weather monitoring buoys
  • Allowing for greater flexibility in surveys
  • Enhancing the process for designing and verifying wind energy projects
  • Establishing a transparent schedule for leasing of renewable energy
  • Revising the regulations for auctioning renewable energy
  • Tailoring financial assurance requirements
  • Clarifying safety management system regulations
  • Making technical corrections and revising other provisions.

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