Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement Michael Bromwich announced that the Department is initiating the process to offer the first commercial wind lease under the "Smart from the Start" Atlantic Offshore Wind program, off the coast of Delaware. The decision follows a determination that there is no competitive interest for commercial wind energy development in this area of the Outer Continental Shelf, precluding the need for competitive bidding.
Secretary Salazar called this a significant milestone for our nation's energy future, allowing Interior officials to move toward a non-competitive lease agreement with NRG Bluewater Wind Delaware for potential offshore wind development. Bluewater Wind Delaware, has proposed a phased wind turbine development 11 miles east of Dewey Beach, Delaware. The company has an agreement to sell offshore power to the state's largest utility, Delmarva.
Still, several steps remain before a lease can be issued, including environmental reviews and consultation with other federal, state, local and tribal organizations. Once a lease is issued, the developer will be required to submit a detailed construction and operation plan that will be subject to further environmental review and public comment before any final decision is made on a proposed project.