As we described in a recent post, the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced the signature of its proposed Renewable Energy Modernization Rule in mid-January 2023. The proposed rule – which is intended to update and modernize the regulations governing wind energy development on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) – was published in the Federal Register on January 30, opening a 60-day comment period.
The proposed rule is intended to help jumpstart offshore wind development in the United States, supporting the Biden administration’s goals of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030 and 15 gigawatts of floating offshore wind energy by 2035. According to DOI officials, the proposed revisions are based on regulatory experience gained in the 13 years since the current OCS renewable energy regulations were promulgated, including recommendations received from industry leaders. When the proposed rule was signed, Secretary Deb Haaland announced her view that the proposed regulatory reforms “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.” The public comment period, now open, provides stakeholders and other interested parties of all views and backgrounds the opportunity to weigh in on the proposed regulatory revisions and to provide BOEM with suggested revisions based on their own experiences and ideas. Comments are due March 31, 2023.