Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy ManagementWHEN: February 26–28, 2013 WHERE: Herndon, Virginia
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is hosting this workshop to engage with European scientists and regulators with experience in site assessment and site characterization for offshore wind energy projects. The goal of the workshop is to better understand what information is needed for environmentally responsible siting of wind energy infrastructure. This workshop will focus on three areas of interest: birds, seafloor habitats, and archaeological resources.
Wind energy is the closest to commercial production of any form of offshore renewable energy. Development of wind energy facilities requires assessments of proposed sites, including potential conflicts with other human uses, geological and geophysical characteristics, cultural resources, and use by biological resources (e.g. birds, bats, fish, marine mammals, turtles, and their habitats). BOEM is in the process of collecting foundational information about these topics and has proposed initial guidelines for industry to use in collecting site specific information. European countries have several commercial facilities already in operation, and BOEM is organizing this workshop to learn from the progress they have made.
The goal of this workshop is for BOEM to further inform the development of site assessment and characterization guidelines that provide useful information for decision making. BOEM wants to learn from the European experience with offshore wind development about the types of information that should be gathered during site assessment and characterization that best informs decisions about the siting of offshore wind facilities and potential mitigation measures. Three areas of particular interest will be the focus of this workshop – birds, benthic habitats, and archaeology. These areas were selected because of the timeliness with respect to the preparation and release of guidelines for information collection. While the focus is on pre-construction information collection, BOEM recognizes that this information is the foundation for post-construction evaluation.
About the Sponsor
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) manages the exploration and development of the nation's offshore energy resources. The bureau seeks to balance economic development, energy independence, and environmental protection through responsible management of offshore conventional and renewable energy development based on the best available science.
BOEM conducts environmental reviews, including National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analyses and compliance documents for each major stage of energy development planning. These analyses inform the bureau’s decisions on exploration and development activities. Additionally, BOEM’s scientists conduct and oversee environmental studies to inform policy decisions relating to the management of energy and marine mineral resources on the outer continental shelf.