The US offshore wind industry is evolving, and port facilities are a critical component to this industry’s success. Decisions regarding which ports to use, and the types of port modifications necessary to support offshore wind projects, can be impacted by many unforeseen factors, such as technological advancements in turbine design and changing regulations. BOEM, the agency responsible for issuing offshore wind energy area leases and monitoring and mitigating impacts in those lease areas, engaged a study of Atlantic coast ports to help support future NEPA reviews of offshore wind energy facility developments.
TRC staff led the assessment to identify port modifications along the Atlantic coast that would be needed to support offshore wind development and the associated environmental and socioeconomic implications. The study “The Identification of Port Modifications and the Environmental and Socioeconomic Consequences (BOEM 2016-034)” examines Atlantic coast port facilities and identifies port modifications necessary to develop, stage, and install proposed offshore wind energy projects along the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).
The study is intended to provide BOEM with documentation to support future NEPA reviews of offshore wind energy projects. It is also meant to aid in the project-specific assessment of potential environmental and socioeconomic impacts associated with the expansion and use of port facilities that support proposed Atlantic OCS offshore wind energy development projects.
Our team defined the criteria necessary for ports to service the burgeoning offshore wind market and classified those with the greatest potential through close collaboration with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), port managers, developers, industry suppliers, federal agencies and European experts. The results of the TRC’s Team’s study confirmed the complexity of offshore wind energy development projects and the need for more consistent information about US port characteristics, site-specific information, and early coordination between various stakeholders.
- Port Requirement Criteria Development
- Identification & Classification of Atlantic Coast Ports
- Summary of Impact Producing Factors, Environmental & Socioeconomic Impacts, & Mitigation Measure