Commercial Leasing for Wind Power on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Offshore Massachusetts-Request for Interest (RFI), 82055-82061 [2010-32853]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 249 / Wednesday, December 29, 2010 / Notices approximately 65 nm, then north approximately 31 nm. The area is approximately 2,224 square nm and contains 321 whole OCS lease blocks as well as 163 partial blocks. This area was EXEMPTION(S): delineated in consultation with the None. BOEMRE Massachusetts Renewable [FR Doc. 2010–32767 Filed 12–28–10; 8:45 am] Energy Task Force. A detailed BILLING CODE 4210–67–P description of the RFI area is found later in this notice. This RFI is being published as a first step under the Secretary of the Interior’s DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Smart from the Start OCS renewable Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, energy initiative, which was announced Regulation and Enforcement by Secretary Ken Salazar on November 23, 2010. Some of the area delineated [Docket No. BOEM–2010–0063] for the Massachusetts RFI may be identified as a Wind Energy Area (WEA) Commercial Leasing for Wind Power as referenced and described in the on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Secretary’s announcement. A WEA is an Offshore Massachusetts—Request for OCS location that appears to be most Interest (RFI) suitable for commercial wind energy AGENCY: Bureau of Ocean Energy development and is identified by Management, Regulation and BOEMRE for further study and Enforcement, Interior. consultation to foster responsible and ACTION: RFI in Commercial Wind Energy efficient leasing and development. The Leasing Offshore Massachusetts, and Massachusetts RFI was delineated based Invitation for Comments from Interested on deliberation and consultation with and Affected Parties. the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Task Force and the subsequent selection SUMMARY: The Bureau of Ocean Energy of a WEA will be based on further Management, Regulation and scrutiny resulting from input received Enforcement (BOEMRE) invites on this RFI. The comments and submissions describing interest in information responding to this RFI will obtaining one or more commercial enable BOEMRE to identify focused leases for the construction of a wind WEA’s for both competitive and energy project(s) on the Outer noncompetitive leasing processes and Continental Shelf (OCS) offshore accompanying environmental review Massachusetts. BOEMRE will use the under the National Environmental responses to this RFI to gauge specific Policy Act (NEPA). interest in commercial development of DATES: BOEMRE must receive your OCS wind resources in the area submission indicating your interest in described, as required by 43 U.S.C. this potential commercial leasing area 1337(p)(3). Parties wishing to obtain a no later than February 28, 2011 for your commercial lease for a wind energy submission to be considered. BOEMRE project should submit detailed and specific information as described below requests comments or other submissions of information by this same date. We in the section entitled, ‘‘Required Indication of Interest Information.’’ Also, will consider only the submissions we receive by that time. with this announcement, BOEMRE Submission Procedures: You may invites all interested and affected parties submit your indications of interest, to comment and provide information— including information on environmental comments, and information by one of two methods: issues and data—that will be useful in 1. Electronically: https:// the consideration of the RFI area for www.regulations.gov. In the entry titled commercial wind energy leases. ‘‘Enter Keyword or ID,’’ enter BOEM– This RFI is published pursuant to 2010–0063, then click search. Follow subsection 8(p) of the OCS Lands Act, as amended by section 388 of the Energy the instructions to submit public comments and view supporting and Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct) (43 U.S.C. related materials available for this 1337(p)(3)) and the implementing request for information. BOEMRE will regulations at 30 CFR part 285. The area of interest for commercial post all comments. development is off the coast of 2. By mail, sending your indications Massachusetts beginning approximately of interest, comments, and information 12 nautical miles (nm) south of Martha’s to the following address: Bureau of Vineyard and Nantucket and extending Ocean Energy Management, Regulation approximately 31 nm seaward, south to and Enforcement, Office of Offshore the 60 meter depth contour, then east Alternative Energy Programs, 381 Elden RECORD SOURCE CATEGORIES: srobinson on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with NOTICES DHAP-Ike housing agency grantees, case managers, HUD contractors, subcontractors, and HUD employees. VerDate Mar<15>2010 02:10 Dec 29, 2010 Jkt 223001 PO 00000 Frm 00091 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 82055 Street, Mail Stop 4090, Herndon, Virginia 20170. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jessica Bradley, Renewable Energy Program Specialist, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, Office of Offshore Alternative Energy Programs, 381 Elden Street, Mail Stop 4090, Herndon, Virginia 20170, (703) 787–1300. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Purpose of the Request for Interest The OCS Lands Act requires BOEMRE to award leases competitively, unless BOEMRE makes a determination that there is no competitive interest (43 U.S.C. 1337(p)(3)). This RFI is a preliminary step in the leasing process and the responses to it will assist BOEMRE in determining if there is competitive interest in the area described herein on the OCS offshore Massachusetts. If, following this RFI, BOEMRE determines that there is no competitive interest in this area offshore Massachusetts, BOEMRE may proceed with the noncompetitive lease process pursuant to 30 CFR 285.232 of the Renewable Energy and Alternate Uses of Existing Facilities on the Outer Continental Shelf (REAU) rulemaking. If, following this RFI, BOEMRE determines that there is competitive interest in the RFI area, BOEMRE may proceed with the competitive leasing process set forth under 30 CFR 285.211 through 285.225. Whether the leasing process is competitive or noncompetitive, it will include opportunities for the public to provide input as well as a thorough environmental review, and will be conducted in conformance with all applicable laws and regulations. As part of the renewable energy leasing process, BOEMRE has consulted with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on offshore renewable energy development. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has expressed that it welcomes expressions of interest that support any potential commercial scale wind energy development. The Commonwealth notes that it looks forward in particular to expressions of interest that propose the integrated development of significant generation capacity and a transmission system to connect the generation project(s) to the New England electric grid in Massachusetts or the New England region. Additionally, Massachusetts will ask respondents to provide a preliminary description of infrastructure and locations for on-shore assembly, supply chain and maintenance operations. See companion E:\FR\FM\29DEN1.SGM 29DEN1 82056 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 249 / Wednesday, December 29, 2010 / Notices piece from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that provides additional information on the State’s interest and goals at: https://www.mass.gov/ ?pageID=eoeeaterminal&L=4&L0=Home &L1=Energy%2c+Utilities+%26+ Clean+Technologies&L2=Renewable+ Energy&L3=Wind&sid=Eoeea &b=terminalcontent&f=doer_renewables _wind_offshore-wind&csid=Eoeea. Parties other than those interested in obtaining a commercial lease are welcome to submit comments in response to this RFI. Further, BOEMRE has formed the BOEMRE/Massachusetts Renewable Energy Task Force for coordination among relevant Federal agencies and affected state, local, and tribal governments throughout the leasing process. Task Force meeting materials are available on the BOEMRE Web site at: https://www.boemre.gov/ offshore/RenewableEnergy/ stateactivities.htm#Massachusetts. Background Energy Policy Act of 2005 EPAct amended the OCS Lands Act by adding subsection 8(p), which authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to grant leases, easements, or rights-ofway (ROWs) on the OCS for activities that are not otherwise authorized by law and that produce or support production, transportation, or transmission of energy from sources other than oil or gas. EPAct also required the issuance of regulations to carry out the new authority pertaining to renewable energy on the OCS. The Secretary delegated this authority to issue leases, easements, and ROWs, and to promulgate regulations, to the Director of BOEMRE. BOEMRE published the REAU rule on April 29, 2009. srobinson on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with NOTICES Executive Order 13547: Stewardship of the Ocean, Our Coasts, and the Great Lakes In July 2010, the President signed an Executive Order establishing the National Ocean Council. The Order establishes a comprehensive, integrated national policy for the stewardship of the Nation’s ocean, coasts and Great Lakes and outlines procedures for the implementation of coastal and marine spatial planning through regional planning bodies. BOEMRE appreciates the importance of coordinating its planning endeavors with other OCS users and regulators and intends to use the efforts of the regional planning bodies as a resource to inform its regulatory and leasing processes. BOEMRE anticipates that continued coordination with the State Renewable Energy Task Forces will help inform the VerDate Mar<15>2010 02:10 Dec 29, 2010 Jkt 223001 comprehensive coastal and marine spatial planning effort. Actions Taken by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts In January 2010, the Patrick Administration released a study entitled Strategic Options for Investment in Transmission in Support of Offshore Wind Development in Massachusetts. The report was produced by a team at Analysis Group, under the leadership of Dr. Susan F. Tierney. It analyzes the transmission challenges involved in creating substantial offshore wind generation, and presents a series of options for the Commonwealth to consider in developing sufficient transmission capacity; https:// www.analysisgroup.com/uploadedFiles/ Publishing/Articles/Strategic_Options_ Offshore_Wind_12–01–09.pdf. In January 2010, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) promulgated the Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan, which establishes new protections for significant marine resources and guides potential future marine development away from environmentally sensitive areas in State waters and on the OCS. To address renewable energy development, the Ocean Management Plan designates two locations, the Gosnold and Martha’s Vineyard WEAs, for potential future commercial-scale wind energy development in state waters. Each community will have a significant role in approving projects within their respective jurisdictions. The Ocean Management Plan also distributes an initial development allotment of 100 turbines, on a sliding scale (based on coastline, ocean area, etc.) among the seven coastal regional planning authorities for the development of community (small-scale) wind energy development in state waters. The Ocean Management Plan is based on, and presents detailed maps of, a comprehensive analysis of currently available natural resource and human use data. Some data from the Ocean Management Plan extend sufficiently onto the OCS and will help inform ongoing planning in association with the Federal leasing process; additional data will be developed by the state in conjunction with BOEMRE. See https:// www.mass.gov/eea/mop for material associated with the Ocean Management Plan. For Ocean Management Plan spatial data that extends onto the OCS, go to the on-line Massachusetts Ocean Resource Information System (MORIS). To interactively view the spatial data in MORIS, go to https://www.mass.gov/ czm/mapping/index.htm and select ‘‘Yes’’ to accept the terms of use. Data are PO 00000 Frm 00092 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 located in the ‘‘BOEMRE Request for Interest (RFI)’’ folder, located within the ‘‘Ocean Management’’ folder. Directions on how to navigate the map and download data are available on the MORIS Web site. The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center has solicited a Port and Support Infrastructure Analysis for Offshore Energy Development, which will analyze shore and port facilities with a view towards identifying appropriate port facilities, estimating upgrades to make the locations suitable to support offshore energy development, and quantifying economic impacts on the port area. On July 26, 2010, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Rhode Island Governor Donald Carcieri signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to jointly explore the potential development of offshore wind energy in an ‘‘area of mutual interest’’ (AMI) on the OCS offshore both States. BOEMRE will work with both states and the BOEMRE/ Rhode Island and BOEMRE/ Massachusetts Renewable Energy Task Forces in moving forward with renewable energy leasing within this area. Determination of Competitive Interest The first step in determining whether there is competitive interest in an area on the OCS for wind energy projects offshore of Massachusetts will be the evaluation of submissions describing nominations for particular areas of interest as suitable for commercial wind energy projects in response to this RFI. At the conclusion of the comment period for this RFI, BOEMRE will review the information received, undertake a completeness review and qualifications review of the nominations received, and make a determination of competitive interest. BOEMRE will first determine whether there is any geographic overlap of the areas of interest. If two areas of interest fully or partially overlap, the competitive process will begin as outlined in 30 CFR 285.211 through 285.225. BOEMRE will consult with the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Task Force throughout this process. Situations may arise in which several parties nominate project areas that do not overlap. Under these circumstances, BOEMRE could choose to employ an allocation system of leases that involves the creation of competition across tracts. This system is referred to as intertract competition and would also be implemented under the competitive process outlined in 30 CFR 285.211 through 285.225. BOEMRE will consult with the BOEMRE/Massachusetts E:\FR\FM\29DEN1.SGM 29DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 249 / Wednesday, December 29, 2010 / Notices Renewable Energy Task Force in determining intertract competition. srobinson on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with NOTICES Competitive Process If BOEMRE determines that competitive interest exists for this area, it would proceed with the following defined process, as described in 30 CFR 285.211 through 285.225, consulting with the BOEMRE/Massachusetts Renewable Energy Task Force, as appropriate: (1) Call for Information and Nominations (Call). BOEMRE would publish in the Federal Register a notice of a Call for Information and Nominations for leasing in specified areas. The comment period following the notice of a Call would be 45 days. In the notice, BOEMRE may request comments seeking information on areas that should receive special consideration and analysis; on geological conditions (including bottom hazards); on archaeological sites on the seabed or nearshore; on possible multiple uses of the proposed leasing area (including navigation, recreation, and fisheries); and, on other socioeconomic, cultural, biological, and environmental matters. BOEMRE would require potential lessees to submit the following information in response to the Call: the area of interest for a possible lease; a general description of the potential lessee’s objectives and the facilities that the potential lessee would use to achieve those objectives; a general schedule of proposed activities, including those leading to commercial operations; data and information concerning renewable energy and environmental conditions in the area of interest, including the energy data, natural and cultural resource data, potential landside and nearshore project elements that may affect historic and cultural resources, and information that was used to evaluate the area of interest; and documentation showing that the submitting entity is qualified to hold a lease. However, an applicant would not be required to resubmit information already submitted in response to this RFI. The Call may solicit information relating to the offshore transmission system of interest to the state in addition to information relating to existing wind generating facilities and sites. (2) Area Identification. BOEMRE would identify areas for environmental analysis and consideration for leasing in discussion with appropriate Federal agencies, states, local governments, Indian tribes and other interested parties based on the information VerDate Mar<15>2010 02:10 Dec 29, 2010 Jkt 223001 submitted in response to this RFI and the Call. (3) Proposed Sale Notice. BOEMRE would then publish the Proposed Sale Notice (PSN) in the Federal Register and send the PSN to any affected Tribal government, the State Historic Preservation Office, the Governor of any affected state and the executive of any local government that might be affected. The PSN would describe the areas offered for leasing and the proposed terms and conditions of a lease sale, including the proposed auction format, lease form and lease provisions. Additionally, the PSN would describe the criteria and process for evaluating bids. The PSN would be issued after completion of the final National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documentation, preparation of the Consistency Determination as required by the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) and its implementing regulations, and preparation of various analyses of proposed lease sale economic terms and conditions. The comment period following issuance of a PSN would be 60 days. (4) Final Sale Notice. BOEMRE would then publish the Final Sale Notice (FSN) in the Federal Register at least 30 days before the date of the sale. Should BOEMRE proceed with a competitive auction to award leases, BOEMRE would use one of the following three auction formats to select the winner as described at 30 CFR 285.220: sealed bidding; ascending bidding; or two-stage bidding (a combination of ascending bidding and sealed bidding). The BOEMRE would publish the criteria for winning bid determinations in the FSN. (5) Bid Evaluation. Following publication of the FSN in the Federal Register, qualified bidders may submit their bids to BOEMRE in accordance with procedures specified for the auction format to be used. The bids, including the bid deposits if applicable, would be checked for technical and legal adequacy. BOEMRE would evaluate the bids to determine if the bidder has complied with all applicable regulations. BOEMRE reserves the right to reject any or all bids and the right to withdraw an offer to lease an area from the sale. (6) Issuance of a Lease. Following the selection of a winning bid by BOEMRE, the submitter would be notified of the decision and provided a set of official lease forms for execution. The successful bidder would be required to execute the lease, pay the remainder of the bonus bid, if applicable, and file the required financial assurance within 10 days of receiving the lease copies. Upon receipt of the required payments, PO 00000 Frm 00093 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 82057 financial assurance, and properly executed lease forms, BOEMRE would issue a lease to the successful bidder. Noncompetitive Process If BOEMRE determines that there is no competitive interest in a proposed lease, it may proceed with the noncompetitive lease issuance process pursuant to 30 CFR 285.232, consulting with the BOEMRE/Massachusetts Renewable Energy Task Force, as appropriate. Within 60 days of the date of a determination of no competitive interest, the respondent would be required to submit a Site Assessment Plan (SAP), as described in 30 CFR 285.231(d)(2)(i). Leases issued noncompetitively need to comply with the requirements of NEPA, CZMA, the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), and other applicable Federal statutes. In accordance with 30 CFR 285.231(e), BOEMRE would coordinate and consult, as appropriate, with affected Federal agencies, affected Indian tribes, and state and local governments, in issuing a noncompetitive lease and developing lease terms and conditions. It is possible that responses to this RFI may result in determinations that there is competitive interest for some areas but not for others. BOEMRE will announce publicly its determinations before proceeding with a competitive process, a noncompetitive process, or both. Environmental Review The following describes BOEMRE’s environmental review process, which would be coordinated, to the extent possible, with any Federal, tribal, and State agencies that may have jurisdiction over activities associated with OCS commercial wind energy leases. Other Federal, State, and tribal agencies may have additional and separate environmental review or permitting processes or other requirements. After evaluating the responses to the RFI, but before publishing the PSN for a competitive lease sale or issuing a lease noncompetitively, BOEMRE would prepare a NEPA analysis for public review and conduct required consultations with Federal, tribal, and State agencies. Several consultations would be conducted, as appropriate, and integrated into the NEPA process described below. These consultations include, but are not limited to, those required by the CZMA, ESA, MagnusonStevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, NHPA, and Executive E:\FR\FM\29DEN1.SGM 29DEN1 82058 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 249 / Wednesday, December 29, 2010 / Notices Order 13175—‘‘Consultation and Coordination with Tribal Governments.’’ These consultations would be completed prior to the issuance of any leases. BOEMRE will prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA) to evaluate the effects of issuing renewable energy leases. If the EA finds that the proposed action would be a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment (42 U.S.C. 4332(c)), then the BOEMRE would begin the process of preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to analyze the effects of issuing the lease(s) through either a noncompetitive or competitive process. This would include a public scoping period, including a 30-day comment period and one or more public meetings conducted to solicit input on the alternatives and issues to be addressed in a draft EIS. The draft EIS would describe the nature of the action under consideration, and any potential direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts that the action will have on biological or physical resources, as well as on socioeconomic conditions. Description of the Area The RFI area was delineated through consultation with the BOEMRE/ Massachusetts Renewable Energy Task Force. The following whole OCS lease blocks are included within the RFI area: In Providence NK19–07, blocks, 6976, 6977, 6978, 7022, 7023, 7024, 7025, 7026, 7027, 7028, 7029, 7072, 7073, 7074, 7075, 7076, 7077, 7078, 7079, 7118, 7119, 7120, 7121, 7122, 7123, 7124, 7125, 7126, 7127, 7128, and 7129. In Providence NK19–07 following partial blocks are also included in the RFI area: Block Number 6972 6973 6974 6975 Sub Block ............... ............... ............... ............... M,N,O,P M,N,O,P L,M,N,O,P D,F,G,H,I,J,K,L,M,N,O,P Block Number 6119 6120 6121 6122 6123 6124 6169 6174 6219 6224 6269 Sub Block ................................................ ................................................ ................................................ ................................................ ................................................ ................................................ ................................................ ................................................ ................................................ ................................................ ................................................ A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K,L,M,N,O A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K,L A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K,L A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K,L A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K,L A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K,L,N,O,P A,B,C,E,F,G,I,J,K,M,N,O B,C,D,F,G,H,J,K,L,N,O,P A,B,C,E,F,G,I,J,K,M,N,O B,C,D,F,G,H,J,K,L,N,O,P A,B,C,E,F,G,I,J,K,M,N,O 6266, 6267, 6301, 6302, 6303, 6304, 6305, 6306, 6307, 6308, 6309, 6310, 6311, 6312, 6313, 6314, 6315, 6316, 6317, 6351, 6352, 6353, 6354, 6355, 6356, 6357, 6358, 6359, 6360, 6361, 6362, 6363, 6364, 6365, 6366, 6367, 6401, 6402, 6403, 6404, 6405, 6406, 6407, 6408, 6409, 6410, 6411, 6412, 6413, 6414, 6415, 6416, 6417, 6451, 6452, 6453, 6454, 6461, 6462, 6463, 6464, 6465, 6466, 6467, 6501, 6502, 6511, 6512, 6513, 6514, 6515, 6516, 6562, 6563, and 6564. The area of interest is located off the coast of Massachusetts beginning approximately 12 nautical miles (nm) In Hydrographer Canyon NK19–11, blocks 6011, 6012, 6013, 6014, 6015, 6016, 6051, 6052, 6053, 6054, 6055, 6056, 6057, 6058, 6059, 6060, 6061, 6062, 6063, 6064, 6065, 6066, 6067, 6101, 6102, 6103, 6104, 6105, 6106, 6107, 6108, 6109, 6110, 6111, 6112, 6113, 6114, 6115, 6116, 6117, 6151, 6152, 6153, 6154, 6155, 6156, 6157, 6158, 6159, 6160, 6161, 6162, 6163, 6164, 6165, 6166, 6167, 6201, 6202, 6203, 6204, 6205, 6206, 6207, 6208, 6209, 6210, 6211, 6212, 6213, 6214, 6215, 6216, 6217, 6251, 6252, 6253, 6254, 6255, 6256, 6257, 6258, 6259, 6260, 6261, 6262, 6263, 6264, 6265, srobinson on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with NOTICES Point No 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 X easting ............................................................................................................................... ............................................................................................................................... ............................................................................................................................... ............................................................................................................................... ............................................................................................................................... ............................................................................................................................... ............................................................................................................................... ............................................................................................................................... ............................................................................................................................... VerDate Mar<15>2010 02:10 Dec 29, 2010 In Chatham NK19–08, blocks 6761, 6811, 6861, 6862, 6911, 6912, 6913, 6961, 6962, 6963, 7011, 7012, 7013, 7014, 7061, 7062, 7063, 7064, 7065, 7111, 7112, 7113, 7114, and 7115. In Block Island Shelf NK19–10, blocks 6019, 6020, 6021, 6022, 6023, 6024, 6025, 6026, 6027, 6028, 6029, 6030, 6069, 6070, 6071, 6072, 6073, 6074, 6075, 6076, 6077, 6078, 6079, 6080, 6081, 6082, 6083, 6084, 6125, 6126, 6127, 6128, 6129, 6130, 6131, 6132, 6133, 6134, 6175, 6176, 6177, 6178, 6179, 6180, 6181, 6182, 6183, 6184, 6225, 6226, 6227, 6228, 6229, 6230, 6231, 6232, 6233, 6234, 6275, 6276, 6277, 6278, 6279, 6280, 6281, 6282, 6283, 6284, 6325, 6326, 6327, 6328, 6329, 6330, 6331, 6332, 6333, 6334, 6376, 6377, 6378, 6379, 6380, 6381, 6382, 6383, 6384, 6428, 6429, 6430, 6431, 6432, 6433, 6434, 6480, 6481, 6482, 6483, 6484, 6532, 6533, and 6534. In Block Island Shelf, NK19–10 the following partial blocks are also included in the RFI area: Jkt 223001 PO 00000 Frm 00094 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 327200 346400 346400 359600 359600 362000 362000 364400 364400 south of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket and extending approximately 31 nm seaward, south to the 60 meter depth contour, then east approximately 65 nm, then north approximately 31 nm. The area is approximately 2,224 square nm and contains 321 whole OCS lease blocks as well as 163 partial blocks. The boundary of the RFI follows the points listed in the table below in clockwise order. Point numbers 1 and 57 are the same. Coordinates are provided in X, Y (eastings, northings) UTM Zone 18N, NAD 83 and geographic (longitude, latitude), NAD83. Y northing 4540800 4540800 4551600 4551600 4552800 4552800 4554000 4554000 4555200 E:\FR\FM\29DEN1.SGM 29DEN1 Longitude ¥71.0546 ¥70.826429 ¥70.829121 ¥70.671998 ¥70.672272 ¥70.643698 ¥70.643967 ¥70.615387 ¥70.615653 Latitude 41.000088 41.003931 41.101169 41.103557 41.114362 41.114774 41.125579 41.125983 41.136789 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 249 / Wednesday, December 29, 2010 / Notices Point No srobinson on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with NOTICES 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 X easting ............................................................................................................................. ............................................................................................................................. ............................................................................................................................. 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Specific mitigation, stipulations, or exclusion areas may be developed as a result of site-specific environmental reviews and associated consultations, as well as continued coordination through the BOEMRE/Massachusetts Renewable Energy Task Force. Multiple use issues raised through consultation with the BOEMRE/Massachusetts Renewable Energy Task Force are described below. BOEMRE established the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Task Force in November 2009, at the request of Governor Deval Patrick. The first meeting was held on November 19, 2009, to introduce the intergovernmental members, discuss the purpose of the task force, explain BOEMRE renewable energy leasing and environmental review process, and VerDate Mar<15>2010 02:10 Dec 29, 2010 Jkt 223001 380000 380000 384800 384800 452000 452000 456800 456800 461600 461600 466400 466400 471200 471200 476000 476000 480800 480800 485600 485600 480800 480800 471200 471200 456800 456800 452000 452000 423200 423200 413600 413600 389600 389600 380000 380000 370400 370400 360800 360800 356000 356000 352400 352400 330800 330800 327200 327200 discuss a draft charter. The next meeting was held January 27, 2010, to present and discuss a draft RFI developed in consultation with the Commonwealth’s Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. The Commonwealth initially proposed a development buffer of 9 nautical miles from the shore based on review of visual analysis materials. Based on input from the BOEMRE/Massachusetts Renewable Energy Task Force, the draft RFI was revised to begin 12 nautical miles offshore, which was presented at the September 8, 2010, Massachusetts Renewable Energy Task Force meeting. BOEMRE collected comments from task force members and held another meeting on October 15, 2010, to discuss additional requested changes. Several PO 00000 Frm 00095 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Y northing 4555200 4550400 4550400 4531200 4531200 4574400 4574400 4564800 4564800 4560000 4560000 4550400 4550400 4545600 4545600 4536000 4536000 4531200 4531200 4488000 4488000 4483200 4483200 4478400 4478400 4483200 4483200 4492800 4492800 4488000 4488000 4483200 4483200 4488000 4488000 4492800 4492800 4497600 4497600 4502400 4502400 4512000 4512000 4522800 4522800 4507200 4507200 4540800 Longitude ¥70.42984 ¥70.428902 ¥70.371762 ¥70.36818 ¥69.570139 ¥69.573517 ¥69.516168 ¥69.515487 ¥69.458213 ¥69.457911 ¥69.400673 ¥69.400147 ¥69.342985 ¥69.34276 ¥69.285634 ¥69.285261 ¥69.228209 ¥69.22806 ¥69.171045 ¥69.170052 ¥69.226735 ¥69.226589 ¥69.339882 ¥69.339664 ¥69.509491 ¥69.509818 ¥69.566462 ¥69.567191 ¥69.907473 ¥69.906889 ¥70.020234 ¥70.019579 ¥70.302734 ¥70.303571 ¥70.416893 ¥70.417805 ¥70.531192 ¥70.532179 ¥70.645631 ¥70.646693 ¥70.703452 ¥70.705656 ¥70.748279 ¥70.750833 ¥71.006912 ¥71.002689 ¥71.045274 ¥71.0546 82059 Latitude 41.139245 41.09602 41.096715 40.923806 40.930514 41.319642 41.319914 41.233442 41.233685 41.190448 41.190661 41.104187 41.104371 41.061133 41.061289 40.974811 40.974938 40.931698 40.931797 40.542625 40.542528 40.499285 40.499007 40.455764 40.455141 40.498382 40.498119 40.5846 40.582428 40.539191 40.538246 40.495009 40.492164 40.535396 40.534062 40.577291 40.575844 40.619071 40.61751 40.660734 40.659911 40.746356 40.745718 40.842965 40.838793 40.698345 40.697598 41.000088 Massachusetts Renewable Energy Task Force members, including the State Historic Preservation Officer, the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah), the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, and representatives from the towns of Tisbury and Oak Bluffs, expressed a preference for the RFI area to begin 21 nautical miles offshore. BOEMRE has not changed the RFI boundary to begin 21 nautical miles offshore, but has depicted the 21 nautical mile delineation on the RFI map as a point of information for potential developers. Nantucket Lightship Habitat Closure Area Through consultation with the BOEMRE/Massachusetts Renewable Energy Task Force, the National Oceanic E:\FR\FM\29DEN1.SGM 29DEN1 82060 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 249 / Wednesday, December 29, 2010 / Notices srobinson on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with NOTICES and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has identified the Nantucket Lightship Habitat Closure Area within the RFI Area. NMFS has closed this area to all bottom-tending mobile fishing gear in order to minimize adverse effects of fishing on essential fish habitat (EFH). The NMFS has indicated that commercial wind development within this area may be subject to additional review in order to ensure that conservation efforts in this area are maintained. This area can be located at the following URL: https:// www.nero.noaa.gov/nero/regs/infodocs/ MultsClosedAreas.pdf. BOEMRE has also included this area on the RFI map as a point of information for potential developers. Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) and Navigational Issues BOEMRE is aware that the RFI area lies adjacent, or in close proximity to a Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) and thus the areas nominated in response to this RFI may need to be modified. The U.S. Coast Guard will require buffers from the edges of a TSS and from the entrance and exit to a TSS. Because proposed project characteristics will be unique to each individual project, the buffers will be further defined as more information is collected, such as vessel traffic types, density and routing direction. Further, it is important to note that two-way routes, fairways and TSSs are various forms of routing measures and that buffer dimensions will vary because of many factors, one of which is vessel traffic density/ composition and rules-of-the-road protocol. BOEMRE will take into consideration and review data including but not limited to Automatic Identification System (AIS) data that is used on ships and vessel traffic services. The BOEMRE also will also consult with relevant agencies such as the U.S. Coast Guard regarding potential issues concerning the TSS and other navigational and safety issues and will use best management practices. Depending on the findings, BOEMRE and the U.S. Coast Guard will develop reasonable and appropriate mitigations such as conditions on turbine placement, preservation of adequate navigation buffers and setbacks, protection of vessel traffic lanes or other operational restrictions utilizing their existing authorities, policies, and procedures. If such mitigation cannot be achieved, portions of certain nominated areas may need to be excluded. The following blocks are highlighted for consideration of U.S. Coast Guard concerns: In Block VerDate Mar<15>2010 02:10 Dec 29, 2010 Jkt 223001 Island Shelf NK19–10, blocks 6428, 6429, 6430, 6431, 6432, 6433, 6434, 6480, 6481, 6482, 6483, 6484, 6532, 6533, 6534; In Hydrographer Canyon NK19–11, blocks 6317, 6356, 6357, 6358, 6359, 6360, 6361, 6362, 6363, 6364, 6385, 6366, 6367, 6401, 6402, 6403, 6404, 6405, 6406, 6407, 6408, 6409, 6410, 6411, 6412, 6413, 6414b, 6415, 6416, 6417, 6451, 6452, 6453, 6454, 6461, 6462, 6463, 6464, 6465, 6466, 6467, 6501, 6502, 6511, 6512, 6513, 6514, 6515, 6516, 6562, 6563, 6564. Department of Defense Activities on the Outer Continental Shelf The Department of Defense conducts offshore testing, training, and operations on the Outer Continental Shelf. BOEMRE will consult with the Department of Defense on all proposed offshore wind energy projects to ensure that projects are compatible with Defense activities on the Outer Continental Shelf. Map of RFI area A map of the RFI area can be found at the following URL: https:// www.boemre.gov/offshore/ RenewableEnergy/stateactivities.htm# Massachusetts. A large scale map of the RFI area showing boundaries of the RFI area with numbered blocks is available from BOEMRE at the following address: Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, Office of Offshore Alternative Energy Programs, 381 Elden Street, Mail Stop 4090, Herndon, Virginia 20170, Phone: (703) 787–1300, Fax: (703) 787–1708. Required Indication of Interest Information If you intend to submit an indication of interest in a commercial lease from BOEMRE for the development of wind resources in the area(s) identified in this RFI, you must provide the following: (1) The BOEMRE Protraction Diagram name, number, and specific whole or partial OCS blocks or areas within the RFI area that are of interest for commercial development, including any required buffer area. If your proposed project area includes one or more partial blocks please describe those partial blocks in terms of a sixteenth of an OCS block. Note that any indications of interest identifying areas greater than what would be reasonably necessary to develop a commercial wind facility will not be considered as valid indications of interest. In addition, BOEMRE will not consider any areas outside of the RFI area in this process; PO 00000 Frm 00096 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 (2) A description of your objectives and the facilities that you may use to achieve those objectives; (3) A schedule of proposed activities, including those leading to commercial operations; (4) Available and pertinent data and information concerning renewable energy resources and environmental conditions in the RFI area, including energy and resource data and information used to evaluate the RFI area; and (5) Documentation demonstrating that you are legally, technically and financially qualified to hold a lease as set forth in 30 CFR 285.106 and 285.107. Your technical and financial documentation should demonstrate that you are capable of constructing, operating, maintaining, and decommissioning the facilities described in (2) above. Documentation of financial qualification should include information establishing access to sufficient capital to carry out development. Examples of documentation of technical qualification may include evidence of international or domestic experience with renewable energy projects or other types of electric-energy-related projects. In addition, the Commonwealth has requested a description of plans for transmission to connect the wind energy project(s) to the on-shore grid. Please refer to the companion piece from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that provides additional information on the State’s interest and goals at: https:// www.mass.gov/?pageID=eoeeater minal&L=4&L0=Home&L1=Energy%2c+ Utilities+%26+Clean+Technologies &L2=Renewable+Energy&L3 =Wind&sid=Eoeea&b=terminalcontent &f=doer_renewables_wind_offshorewind&csid=Eoeea. If you include a description of plans for transmission, please follow the instructions in the companion piece, and include (a) a description of the physical configuration of the transmission system including specific points of interconnection to the grid and (b) the ownership structure of the transmission system. For example, with respect to physical configuration, do you anticipate one or more radial line(s) or a network system (i.e., connected to the grid in more than one location); and would the radial line(s) or network be sized to support only the proposed wind energy project(s) or to accommodate future projects as well? With respect to ownership structure, would the transmission system be owned by the developers of the wind energy project(s) or otherwise on a merchant basis, by a traditional transmission company, or E:\FR\FM\29DEN1.SGM 29DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 249 / Wednesday, December 29, 2010 / Notices srobinson on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with NOTICES through some other arrangement? Additionally, on what funding assumptions are plans for the wind energy project(s), including the transmission system, predicated? With regard to transmission, we recommend that the potential lessee(s) review the report entitled ‘‘Strategic Options for Investment in Transmission in Support of Offshore Wind Development in Massachusetts,’’ dated January 8, 2010; https://www.analysisgroup.com/ uploadedFiles/Publishing/Articles/ Strategic_Options_Offshore_Wind_1201-09.pdf. It is critical that you submit a complete indication of interest so that BOEMRE may proceed with the commercial wind leasing process offshore Massachusetts in a timely manner. If BOEMRE reviews your indication of interest and determines that it is incomplete, BOEMRE will inform you of this determination in writing. This letter will describe the information that BOEMRE determined to be missing from your indication of interest, and that you must submit in order for BOEMRE to deem your submission complete. You will be given 15 business days from the date of the letter to submit the information that BOEMRE found to be missing from your original submission. If you do not meet this deadline, or if BOEMRE determines this second submittal to be insufficient as well, then BOEMRE retains the right to deem your indication of interest invalid. In that case, BOEMRE would not move forward with your indication of interest submitted in response to this RFI. Protection of Privileged or Confidential Information BOEMRE will protect privileged or confidential information that you submit as required by the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Exemption 4 of FOIA applies to trade secrets and commercial or financial information that you submit that is privileged or confidential. If you wish to protect the confidentiality of such information, clearly mark it and request that BOEMRE treat it as confidential. BOEMRE will not disclose such information, subject to the requirements of FOIA. Please label privileged or confidential information ‘‘Contains Confidential Information’’ and consider submitting such information as a separate attachment. However, BOEMRE will not treat as confidential any aggregate summaries of such information or comments not containing such information. Additionally, BOEMRE will not treat as confidential (1) the legal title of the VerDate Mar<15>2010 02:10 Dec 29, 2010 Jkt 223001 nominating entity (for example, the name of your company), or (2) the list of whole or partial blocks that you are nominating. Section 304 of NHPA (16 U.S.C. 470 et seq; 1966, as amended) BOEMRE is required, after consultation with the Secretary, to withhold the location, character, or ownership of historic resources if determination is made that the disclosure may, among other concerns, risk harm to the historic resources or impede the use of a traditional religious site by practitioners. Tribal entities should designate information that qualifies for protection under this section as confidential. Dated: December 17, 2010. Michael R. Bromwich, Director, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement. [FR Doc. 2010–32853 Filed 12–28–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–MR–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R5–FHC–2010–N045; 53330–1335– 0000–J3] Lake Champlain Sea Lamprey Control Alternatives Workgroup Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of meeting. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a meeting of the Lake Champlain Sea Lamprey Control Alternatives Workgroup (Workgroup). The Workgroup’s purpose is to provide, in an advisory capacity, recommendations and advice on research and implementation of sea lamprey control techniques alternative to lampricide that are technically feasible, cost effective, and environmentally safe. The primary objective of the meeting will be to discuss potential research initiatives that may enhance alternative sea lamprey control techniques. The meeting is open to the public. DATES: The Workgroup will meet on Tuesday, January 18, 2011, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., with an alternate date of Tuesday, January 25, 2011, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., should the meeting need to be cancelled due to inclement weather. Any member of public who wants to find out whether the meeting has been postponed may contact Ms. Stefi Flanders of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 802–872– 0629, extension 10 (telephone); Stefi_Flanders@fws.gov (electronic mail) SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00097 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 82061 during regular business hours on the primary meeting date. ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held at the Lake Champlain Basin Program/ Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department facility at the Gordon Center House, 54 West Shore Road, Grand Isle, VT 05458; 802–372–3213 (telephone). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dave Tilton, Designated Federal Officer, Lake Champlain Sea Lamprey Control Alternatives Workgroup, Lake Champlain Fish and Wildlife Resources Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 11 Lincoln Street, Essex Junction, VT 05452 (U.S. mail); 802- 872–0629 (telephone); Dave_Tilton@fws.gov (electronic mail). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We publish this notice under section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.). The Workgroup’s specific responsibilities are to provide advice regarding the implementation of sea lamprey control methods alternative to lampricides, to recommend priorities for research to be conducted by cooperating organizations and demonstration projects to be developed and funded by State and Federal agencies, and to assist Federal and State agencies with the coordination of alternative sea lamprey control research to advance the state of the science in Lake Champlain and the Great Lakes. Dated: December 16, 2010. James G. Geiger, Assistant Regional Director—Fisheries, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Hadley, Massachusetts 01035. [FR Doc. 2010–32754 Filed 12–28–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management Notice To Amend an Existing System of Records; Privacy Act of 1974; as Amended Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of amendment to an Existing System of Records. AGENCY: Pursuant to the provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, the Department of the Interior (DOI) is issuing public notice of its intent to amend the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Range Management System—Interior, LLM–2 notice. The amendment includes changes to ‘‘System location,’’ ‘‘Disclosures outside the Department of the Interior,’’ ‘‘Storage,’’ ‘‘Retrievability,’’ SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\29DEN1.SGM 29DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 249 (Wednesday, December 29, 2010)]
[Notices]
[Pages 82055-82061]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-32853]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement

[Docket No. BOEM-2010-0063]


Commercial Leasing for Wind Power on the Outer Continental Shelf 
(OCS) Offshore Massachusetts--Request for Interest (RFI)

AGENCY: Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, 
Interior.

ACTION: RFI in Commercial Wind Energy Leasing Offshore Massachusetts, 
and Invitation for Comments from Interested and Affected Parties.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and 
Enforcement (BOEMRE) invites submissions describing interest in 
obtaining one or more commercial leases for the construction of a wind 
energy project(s) on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) offshore 
Massachusetts. BOEMRE will use the responses to this RFI to gauge 
specific interest in commercial development of OCS wind resources in 
the area described, as required by 43 U.S.C. 1337(p)(3). Parties 
wishing to obtain a commercial lease for a wind energy project should 
submit detailed and specific information as described below in the 
section entitled, ``Required Indication of Interest Information.'' 
Also, with this announcement, BOEMRE invites all interested and 
affected parties to comment and provide information--including 
information on environmental issues and data--that will be useful in 
the consideration of the RFI area for commercial wind energy leases.
    This RFI is published pursuant to subsection 8(p) of the OCS Lands 
Act, as amended by section 388 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct) 
(43 U.S.C. 1337(p)(3)) and the implementing regulations at 30 CFR part 
285.
    The area of interest for commercial development is off the coast of 
Massachusetts beginning approximately 12 nautical miles (nm) south of 
Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket and extending approximately 31 nm 
seaward, south to the 60 meter depth contour, then east approximately 
65 nm, then north approximately 31 nm. The area is approximately 2,224 
square nm and contains 321 whole OCS lease blocks as well as 163 
partial blocks. This area was delineated in consultation with the 
BOEMRE Massachusetts Renewable Energy Task Force. A detailed 
description of the RFI area is found later in this notice.
    This RFI is being published as a first step under the Secretary of 
the Interior's Smart from the Start OCS renewable energy initiative, 
which was announced by Secretary Ken Salazar on November 23, 2010. Some 
of the area delineated for the Massachusetts RFI may be identified as a 
Wind Energy Area (WEA) as referenced and described in the Secretary's 
announcement. A WEA is an OCS location that appears to be most suitable 
for commercial wind energy development and is identified by BOEMRE for 
further study and consultation to foster responsible and efficient 
leasing and development. The Massachusetts RFI was delineated based on 
deliberation and consultation with the Massachusetts Renewable Energy 
Task Force and the subsequent selection of a WEA will be based on 
further scrutiny resulting from input received on this RFI. The 
comments and information responding to this RFI will enable BOEMRE to 
identify focused WEA's for both competitive and noncompetitive leasing 
processes and accompanying environmental review under the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

DATES: BOEMRE must receive your submission indicating your interest in 
this potential commercial leasing area no later than February 28, 2011 
for your submission to be considered. BOEMRE requests comments or other 
submissions of information by this same date. We will consider only the 
submissions we receive by that time.
    Submission Procedures: You may submit your indications of interest, 
comments, and information by one of two methods:
    1. Electronically: https://www.regulations.gov. In the entry titled 
``Enter Keyword or ID,'' enter BOEM-2010-0063, then click search. 
Follow the instructions to submit public comments and view supporting 
and related materials available for this request for information. 
BOEMRE will post all comments.
    2. By mail, sending your indications of interest, comments, and 
information to the following address: Bureau of Ocean Energy 
Management, Regulation and Enforcement, Office of Offshore Alternative 
Energy Programs, 381 Elden Street, Mail Stop 4090, Herndon, Virginia 
20170.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jessica Bradley, Renewable Energy 
Program Specialist, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and 
Enforcement, Office of Offshore Alternative Energy Programs, 381 Elden 
Street, Mail Stop 4090, Herndon, Virginia 20170, (703) 787-1300.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Purpose of the Request for Interest

    The OCS Lands Act requires BOEMRE to award leases competitively, 
unless BOEMRE makes a determination that there is no competitive 
interest (43 U.S.C. 1337(p)(3)). This RFI is a preliminary step in the 
leasing process and the responses to it will assist BOEMRE in 
determining if there is competitive interest in the area described 
herein on the OCS offshore Massachusetts. If, following this RFI, 
BOEMRE determines that there is no competitive interest in this area 
offshore Massachusetts, BOEMRE may proceed with the noncompetitive 
lease process pursuant to 30 CFR 285.232 of the Renewable Energy and 
Alternate Uses of Existing Facilities on the Outer Continental Shelf 
(REAU) rulemaking. If, following this RFI, BOEMRE determines that there 
is competitive interest in the RFI area, BOEMRE may proceed with the 
competitive leasing process set forth under 30 CFR 285.211 through 
285.225. Whether the leasing process is competitive or noncompetitive, 
it will include opportunities for the public to provide input as well 
as a thorough environmental review, and will be conducted in 
conformance with all applicable laws and regulations.
    As part of the renewable energy leasing process, BOEMRE has 
consulted with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on offshore renewable 
energy development. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has expressed 
that it welcomes expressions of interest that support any potential 
commercial scale wind energy development. The Commonwealth notes that 
it looks forward in particular to expressions of interest that propose 
the integrated development of significant generation capacity and a 
transmission system to connect the generation project(s) to the New 
England electric grid in Massachusetts or the New England region. 
Additionally, Massachusetts will ask respondents to provide a 
preliminary description of infrastructure and locations for on-shore 
assembly, supply chain and maintenance operations. See companion

[[Page 82056]]

piece from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that provides additional 
information on the State's interest and goals at: https://www.mass.gov/
?pageID=eoeeaterminal&L=4&L0=Home&L1=Energy%2c+Utilities+%26+Clean+Techn
ologies&L2=Renewable+Energy&L3=Wind&sid=Eoeea&b=terminalcontent&f=doer--
renewables--wind--offshore-wind&csid=Eoeea.
    Parties other than those interested in obtaining a commercial lease 
are welcome to submit comments in response to this RFI. Further, BOEMRE 
has formed the BOEMRE/Massachusetts Renewable Energy Task Force for 
coordination among relevant Federal agencies and affected state, local, 
and tribal governments throughout the leasing process. Task Force 
meeting materials are available on the BOEMRE Web site at: https://www.boemre.gov/offshore/RenewableEnergy/stateactivities.htm#Massachusetts.

Background

Energy Policy Act of 2005

    EPAct amended the OCS Lands Act by adding subsection 8(p), which 
authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to grant leases, easements, or 
rights-of-way (ROWs) on the OCS for activities that are not otherwise 
authorized by law and that produce or support production, 
transportation, or transmission of energy from sources other than oil 
or gas. EPAct also required the issuance of regulations to carry out 
the new authority pertaining to renewable energy on the OCS. The 
Secretary delegated this authority to issue leases, easements, and 
ROWs, and to promulgate regulations, to the Director of BOEMRE. BOEMRE 
published the REAU rule on April 29, 2009.

Executive Order 13547: Stewardship of the Ocean, Our Coasts, and the 
Great Lakes

    In July 2010, the President signed an Executive Order establishing 
the National Ocean Council. The Order establishes a comprehensive, 
integrated national policy for the stewardship of the Nation's ocean, 
coasts and Great Lakes and outlines procedures for the implementation 
of coastal and marine spatial planning through regional planning 
bodies.
    BOEMRE appreciates the importance of coordinating its planning 
endeavors with other OCS users and regulators and intends to use the 
efforts of the regional planning bodies as a resource to inform its 
regulatory and leasing processes. BOEMRE anticipates that continued 
coordination with the State Renewable Energy Task Forces will help 
inform the comprehensive coastal and marine spatial planning effort.

Actions Taken by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

    In January 2010, the Patrick Administration released a study 
entitled Strategic Options for Investment in Transmission in Support of 
Offshore Wind Development in Massachusetts. The report was produced by 
a team at Analysis Group, under the leadership of Dr. Susan F. Tierney. 
It analyzes the transmission challenges involved in creating 
substantial offshore wind generation, and presents a series of options 
for the Commonwealth to consider in developing sufficient transmission 
capacity; https://www.analysisgroup.com/uploadedFiles/Publishing/Articles/Strategic_Options_Offshore_Wind_12-01-09.pdf.
    In January 2010, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental 
Affairs (EEA) promulgated the Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan, 
which establishes new protections for significant marine resources and 
guides potential future marine development away from environmentally 
sensitive areas in State waters and on the OCS. To address renewable 
energy development, the Ocean Management Plan designates two locations, 
the Gosnold and Martha's Vineyard WEAs, for potential future 
commercial-scale wind energy development in state waters. Each 
community will have a significant role in approving projects within 
their respective jurisdictions. The Ocean Management Plan also 
distributes an initial development allotment of 100 turbines, on a 
sliding scale (based on coastline, ocean area, etc.) among the seven 
coastal regional planning authorities for the development of community 
(small-scale) wind energy development in state waters. The Ocean 
Management Plan is based on, and presents detailed maps of, a 
comprehensive analysis of currently available natural resource and 
human use data. Some data from the Ocean Management Plan extend 
sufficiently onto the OCS and will help inform ongoing planning in 
association with the Federal leasing process; additional data will be 
developed by the state in conjunction with BOEMRE. See https://www.mass.gov/eea/mop for material associated with the Ocean Management 
Plan. For Ocean Management Plan spatial data that extends onto the OCS, 
go to the on-line Massachusetts Ocean Resource Information System 
(MORIS). To interactively view the spatial data in MORIS, go to https://www.mass.gov/czm/mapping/index.htm and select ``Yes'' to accept the 
terms of use. Data are located in the ``BOEMRE Request for Interest 
(RFI)'' folder, located within the ``Ocean Management'' folder. 
Directions on how to navigate the map and download data are available 
on the MORIS Web site.
    The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center has solicited a Port and 
Support Infrastructure Analysis for Offshore Energy Development, which 
will analyze shore and port facilities with a view towards identifying 
appropriate port facilities, estimating upgrades to make the locations 
suitable to support offshore energy development, and quantifying 
economic impacts on the port area.
    On July 26, 2010, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Rhode 
Island Governor Donald Carcieri signed a Memorandum of Understanding 
(MOU) to jointly explore the potential development of offshore wind 
energy in an ``area of mutual interest'' (AMI) on the OCS offshore both 
States. BOEMRE will work with both states and the BOEMRE/Rhode Island 
and BOEMRE/Massachusetts Renewable Energy Task Forces in moving forward 
with renewable energy leasing within this area.

Determination of Competitive Interest

    The first step in determining whether there is competitive interest 
in an area on the OCS for wind energy projects offshore of 
Massachusetts will be the evaluation of submissions describing 
nominations for particular areas of interest as suitable for commercial 
wind energy projects in response to this RFI. At the conclusion of the 
comment period for this RFI, BOEMRE will review the information 
received, undertake a completeness review and qualifications review of 
the nominations received, and make a determination of competitive 
interest. BOEMRE will first determine whether there is any geographic 
overlap of the areas of interest. If two areas of interest fully or 
partially overlap, the competitive process will begin as outlined in 30 
CFR 285.211 through 285.225. BOEMRE will consult with the Massachusetts 
Renewable Energy Task Force throughout this process.
    Situations may arise in which several parties nominate project 
areas that do not overlap. Under these circumstances, BOEMRE could 
choose to employ an allocation system of leases that involves the 
creation of competition across tracts. This system is referred to as 
intertract competition and would also be implemented under the 
competitive process outlined in 30 CFR 285.211 through 285.225. BOEMRE 
will consult with the BOEMRE/Massachusetts

[[Page 82057]]

Renewable Energy Task Force in determining intertract competition.

Competitive Process

    If BOEMRE determines that competitive interest exists for this 
area, it would proceed with the following defined process, as described 
in 30 CFR 285.211 through 285.225, consulting with the BOEMRE/
Massachusetts Renewable Energy Task Force, as appropriate:
    (1) Call for Information and Nominations (Call). BOEMRE would 
publish in the Federal Register a notice of a Call for Information and 
Nominations for leasing in specified areas. The comment period 
following the notice of a Call would be 45 days. In the notice, BOEMRE 
may request comments seeking information on areas that should receive 
special consideration and analysis; on geological conditions (including 
bottom hazards); on archaeological sites on the seabed or nearshore; on 
possible multiple uses of the proposed leasing area (including 
navigation, recreation, and fisheries); and, on other socioeconomic, 
cultural, biological, and environmental matters.
    BOEMRE would require potential lessees to submit the following 
information in response to the Call: the area of interest for a 
possible lease; a general description of the potential lessee's 
objectives and the facilities that the potential lessee would use to 
achieve those objectives; a general schedule of proposed activities, 
including those leading to commercial operations; data and information 
concerning renewable energy and environmental conditions in the area of 
interest, including the energy data, natural and cultural resource 
data, potential landside and nearshore project elements that may affect 
historic and cultural resources, and information that was used to 
evaluate the area of interest; and documentation showing that the 
submitting entity is qualified to hold a lease. However, an applicant 
would not be required to resubmit information already submitted in 
response to this RFI. The Call may solicit information relating to the 
offshore transmission system of interest to the state in addition to 
information relating to existing wind generating facilities and sites.
    (2) Area Identification. BOEMRE would identify areas for 
environmental analysis and consideration for leasing in discussion with 
appropriate Federal agencies, states, local governments, Indian tribes 
and other interested parties based on the information submitted in 
response to this RFI and the Call.
    (3) Proposed Sale Notice. BOEMRE would then publish the Proposed 
Sale Notice (PSN) in the Federal Register and send the PSN to any 
affected Tribal government, the State Historic Preservation Office, the 
Governor of any affected state and the executive of any local 
government that might be affected. The PSN would describe the areas 
offered for leasing and the proposed terms and conditions of a lease 
sale, including the proposed auction format, lease form and lease 
provisions. Additionally, the PSN would describe the criteria and 
process for evaluating bids. The PSN would be issued after completion 
of the final National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documentation, 
preparation of the Consistency Determination as required by the Coastal 
Zone Management Act (CZMA) and its implementing regulations, and 
preparation of various analyses of proposed lease sale economic terms 
and conditions. The comment period following issuance of a PSN would be 
60 days.
    (4) Final Sale Notice. BOEMRE would then publish the Final Sale 
Notice (FSN) in the Federal Register at least 30 days before the date 
of the sale. Should BOEMRE proceed with a competitive auction to award 
leases, BOEMRE would use one of the following three auction formats to 
select the winner as described at 30 CFR 285.220: sealed bidding; 
ascending bidding; or two-stage bidding (a combination of ascending 
bidding and sealed bidding). The BOEMRE would publish the criteria for 
winning bid determinations in the FSN.
    (5) Bid Evaluation. Following publication of the FSN in the Federal 
Register, qualified bidders may submit their bids to BOEMRE in 
accordance with procedures specified for the auction format to be used. 
The bids, including the bid deposits if applicable, would be checked 
for technical and legal adequacy. BOEMRE would evaluate the bids to 
determine if the bidder has complied with all applicable regulations. 
BOEMRE reserves the right to reject any or all bids and the right to 
withdraw an offer to lease an area from the sale.
    (6) Issuance of a Lease. Following the selection of a winning bid 
by BOEMRE, the submitter would be notified of the decision and provided 
a set of official lease forms for execution. The successful bidder 
would be required to execute the lease, pay the remainder of the bonus 
bid, if applicable, and file the required financial assurance within 10 
days of receiving the lease copies. Upon receipt of the required 
payments, financial assurance, and properly executed lease forms, 
BOEMRE would issue a lease to the successful bidder.

Noncompetitive Process

    If BOEMRE determines that there is no competitive interest in a 
proposed lease, it may proceed with the noncompetitive lease issuance 
process pursuant to 30 CFR 285.232, consulting with the BOEMRE/
Massachusetts Renewable Energy Task Force, as appropriate. Within 60 
days of the date of a determination of no competitive interest, the 
respondent would be required to submit a Site Assessment Plan (SAP), as 
described in 30 CFR 285.231(d)(2)(i).
    Leases issued noncompetitively need to comply with the requirements 
of NEPA, CZMA, the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the National Historic 
Preservation Act (NHPA), and other applicable Federal statutes. In 
accordance with 30 CFR 285.231(e), BOEMRE would coordinate and consult, 
as appropriate, with affected Federal agencies, affected Indian tribes, 
and state and local governments, in issuing a noncompetitive lease and 
developing lease terms and conditions.
    It is possible that responses to this RFI may result in 
determinations that there is competitive interest for some areas but 
not for others. BOEMRE will announce publicly its determinations before 
proceeding with a competitive process, a noncompetitive process, or 
both.

Environmental Review

    The following describes BOEMRE's environmental review process, 
which would be coordinated, to the extent possible, with any Federal, 
tribal, and State agencies that may have jurisdiction over activities 
associated with OCS commercial wind energy leases. Other Federal, 
State, and tribal agencies may have additional and separate 
environmental review or permitting processes or other requirements.
    After evaluating the responses to the RFI, but before publishing 
the PSN for a competitive lease sale or issuing a lease 
noncompetitively, BOEMRE would prepare a NEPA analysis for public 
review and conduct required consultations with Federal, tribal, and 
State agencies.
    Several consultations would be conducted, as appropriate, and 
integrated into the NEPA process described below. These consultations 
include, but are not limited to, those required by the CZMA, ESA, 
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, NHPA, and 
Executive

[[Page 82058]]

Order 13175--``Consultation and Coordination with Tribal Governments.'' 
These consultations would be completed prior to the issuance of any 
leases.
    BOEMRE will prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA) to evaluate 
the effects of issuing renewable energy leases. If the EA finds that 
the proposed action would be a major Federal action significantly 
affecting the quality of the human environment (42 U.S.C. 4332(c)), 
then the BOEMRE would begin the process of preparing an Environmental 
Impact Statement (EIS) to analyze the effects of issuing the lease(s) 
through either a noncompetitive or competitive process. This would 
include a public scoping period, including a 30-day comment period and 
one or more public meetings conducted to solicit input on the 
alternatives and issues to be addressed in a draft EIS. The draft EIS 
would describe the nature of the action under consideration, and any 
potential direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts that the action will 
have on biological or physical resources, as well as on socioeconomic 
conditions.

Description of the Area

    The RFI area was delineated through consultation with the BOEMRE/
Massachusetts Renewable Energy Task Force. The following whole OCS 
lease blocks are included within the RFI area:
    In Providence NK19-07, blocks, 6976, 6977, 6978, 7022, 7023, 7024, 
7025, 7026, 7027, 7028, 7029, 7072, 7073, 7074, 7075, 7076, 7077, 7078, 
7079, 7118, 7119, 7120, 7121, 7122, 7123, 7124, 7125, 7126, 7127, 7128, 
and 7129.
    In Providence NK19-07 following partial blocks are also included in 
the RFI area:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Block Number                          Sub Block
------------------------------------------------------------------------
6972...................................  M,N,O,P
6973...................................  M,N,O,P
6974...................................  L,M,N,O,P
6975...................................  D,F,G,H,I,J,K,L,M,N,O,P
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In Chatham NK19-08, blocks 6761, 6811, 6861, 6862, 6911, 6912, 
6913, 6961, 6962, 6963, 7011, 7012, 7013, 7014, 7061, 7062, 7063, 7064, 
7065, 7111, 7112, 7113, 7114, and 7115.
    In Block Island Shelf NK19-10, blocks 6019, 6020, 6021, 6022, 6023, 
6024, 6025, 6026, 6027, 6028, 6029, 6030, 6069, 6070, 6071, 6072, 6073, 
6074, 6075, 6076, 6077, 6078, 6079, 6080, 6081, 6082, 6083, 6084, 6125, 
6126, 6127, 6128, 6129, 6130, 6131, 6132, 6133, 6134, 6175, 6176, 6177, 
6178, 6179, 6180, 6181, 6182, 6183, 6184, 6225, 6226, 6227, 6228, 6229, 
6230, 6231, 6232, 6233, 6234, 6275, 6276, 6277, 6278, 6279, 6280, 6281, 
6282, 6283, 6284, 6325, 6326, 6327, 6328, 6329, 6330, 6331, 6332, 6333, 
6334, 6376, 6377, 6378, 6379, 6380, 6381, 6382, 6383, 6384, 6428, 6429, 
6430, 6431, 6432, 6433, 6434, 6480, 6481, 6482, 6483, 6484, 6532, 6533, 
and 6534.
    In Block Island Shelf, NK19-10 the following partial blocks are 
also included in the RFI area:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Block Number                           Sub Block
------------------------------------------------------------------------
6119..............................  A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K,L,M,N,O
6120..............................  A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K,L
6121..............................  A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K,L
6122..............................  A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K,L
6123..............................  A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K,L
6124..............................  A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K,L,N,O,P
6169..............................  A,B,C,E,F,G,I,J,K,M,N,O
6174..............................  B,C,D,F,G,H,J,K,L,N,O,P
6219..............................  A,B,C,E,F,G,I,J,K,M,N,O
6224..............................  B,C,D,F,G,H,J,K,L,N,O,P
6269..............................  A,B,C,E,F,G,I,J,K,M,N,O
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In Hydrographer Canyon NK19-11, blocks 6011, 6012, 6013, 6014, 
6015, 6016, 6051, 6052, 6053, 6054, 6055, 6056, 6057, 6058, 6059, 6060, 
6061, 6062, 6063, 6064, 6065, 6066, 6067, 6101, 6102, 6103, 6104, 6105, 
6106, 6107, 6108, 6109, 6110, 6111, 6112, 6113, 6114, 6115, 6116, 6117, 
6151, 6152, 6153, 6154, 6155, 6156, 6157, 6158, 6159, 6160, 6161, 6162, 
6163, 6164, 6165, 6166, 6167, 6201, 6202, 6203, 6204, 6205, 6206, 6207, 
6208, 6209, 6210, 6211, 6212, 6213, 6214, 6215, 6216, 6217, 6251, 6252, 
6253, 6254, 6255, 6256, 6257, 6258, 6259, 6260, 6261, 6262, 6263, 6264, 
6265, 6266, 6267, 6301, 6302, 6303, 6304, 6305, 6306, 6307, 6308, 6309, 
6310, 6311, 6312, 6313, 6314, 6315, 6316, 6317, 6351, 6352, 6353, 6354, 
6355, 6356, 6357, 6358, 6359, 6360, 6361, 6362, 6363, 6364, 6365, 6366, 
6367, 6401, 6402, 6403, 6404, 6405, 6406, 6407, 6408, 6409, 6410, 6411, 
6412, 6413, 6414, 6415, 6416, 6417, 6451, 6452, 6453, 6454, 6461, 6462, 
6463, 6464, 6465, 6466, 6467, 6501, 6502, 6511, 6512, 6513, 6514, 6515, 
6516, 6562, 6563, and 6564.
    The area of interest is located off the coast of Massachusetts 
beginning approximately 12 nautical miles (nm) south of Martha's 
Vineyard and Nantucket and extending approximately 31 nm seaward, south 
to the 60 meter depth contour, then east approximately 65 nm, then 
north approximately 31 nm. The area is approximately 2,224 square nm 
and contains 321 whole OCS lease blocks as well as 163 partial blocks. 
The boundary of the RFI follows the points listed in the table below in 
clockwise order. Point numbers 1 and 57 are the same. Coordinates are 
provided in X, Y (eastings, northings) UTM Zone 18N, NAD 83 and 
geographic (longitude, latitude), NAD83.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                       Point No                          X easting    Y northing     Longitude       Latitude
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.....................................................       327200      4540800        -71.0546       41.000088
2.....................................................       346400      4540800      -70.826429       41.003931
3.....................................................       346400      4551600      -70.829121       41.101169
4.....................................................       359600      4551600      -70.671998       41.103557
5.....................................................       359600      4552800      -70.672272       41.114362
6.....................................................       362000      4552800      -70.643698       41.114774
7.....................................................       362000      4554000      -70.643967       41.125579
8.....................................................       364400      4554000      -70.615387       41.125983
9.....................................................       364400      4555200      -70.615653       41.136789

[[Page 82059]]

 
10....................................................       380000      4555200       -70.42984       41.139245
11....................................................       380000      4550400      -70.428902        41.09602
12....................................................       384800      4550400      -70.371762       41.096715
13....................................................       384800      4531200       -70.36818       40.923806
14....................................................       452000      4531200      -69.570139       40.930514
15....................................................       452000      4574400      -69.573517       41.319642
16....................................................       456800      4574400      -69.516168       41.319914
17....................................................       456800      4564800      -69.515487       41.233442
18....................................................       461600      4564800      -69.458213       41.233685
19....................................................       461600      4560000      -69.457911       41.190448
20....................................................       466400      4560000      -69.400673       41.190661
21....................................................       466400      4550400      -69.400147       41.104187
22....................................................       471200      4550400      -69.342985       41.104371
23....................................................       471200      4545600       -69.34276       41.061133
24....................................................       476000      4545600      -69.285634       41.061289
25....................................................       476000      4536000      -69.285261       40.974811
26....................................................       480800      4536000      -69.228209       40.974938
27....................................................       480800      4531200       -69.22806       40.931698
28....................................................       485600      4531200      -69.171045       40.931797
29....................................................       485600      4488000      -69.170052       40.542625
30....................................................       480800      4488000      -69.226735       40.542528
31....................................................       480800      4483200      -69.226589       40.499285
32....................................................       471200      4483200      -69.339882       40.499007
33....................................................       471200      4478400      -69.339664       40.455764
34....................................................       456800      4478400      -69.509491       40.455141
35....................................................       456800      4483200      -69.509818       40.498382
36....................................................       452000      4483200      -69.566462       40.498119
37....................................................       452000      4492800      -69.567191         40.5846
38....................................................       423200      4492800      -69.907473       40.582428
39....................................................       423200      4488000      -69.906889       40.539191
40....................................................       413600      4488000      -70.020234       40.538246
41....................................................       413600      4483200      -70.019579       40.495009
42....................................................       389600      4483200      -70.302734       40.492164
43....................................................       389600      4488000      -70.303571       40.535396
44....................................................       380000      4488000      -70.416893       40.534062
45....................................................       380000      4492800      -70.417805       40.577291
46....................................................       370400      4492800      -70.531192       40.575844
47....................................................       370400      4497600      -70.532179       40.619071
48....................................................       360800      4497600      -70.645631        40.61751
49....................................................       360800      4502400      -70.646693       40.660734
50....................................................       356000      4502400      -70.703452       40.659911
51....................................................       356000      4512000      -70.705656       40.746356
52....................................................       352400      4512000      -70.748279       40.745718
53....................................................       352400      4522800      -70.750833       40.842965
54....................................................       330800      4522800      -71.006912       40.838793
55....................................................       330800      4507200      -71.002689       40.698345
56....................................................       327200      4507200      -71.045274       40.697598
57....................................................       327200      4540800        -71.0546       41.000088
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Specific mitigation, stipulations, or exclusion areas may be 
developed as a result of site-specific environmental reviews and 
associated consultations, as well as continued coordination through the 
BOEMRE/Massachusetts Renewable Energy Task Force. Multiple use issues 
raised through consultation with the BOEMRE/Massachusetts Renewable 
Energy Task Force are described below.
    BOEMRE established the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Task Force in 
November 2009, at the request of Governor Deval Patrick. The first 
meeting was held on November 19, 2009, to introduce the 
intergovernmental members, discuss the purpose of the task force, 
explain BOEMRE renewable energy leasing and environmental review 
process, and discuss a draft charter. The next meeting was held January 
27, 2010, to present and discuss a draft RFI developed in consultation 
with the Commonwealth's Executive Office of Energy and Environmental 
Affairs. The Commonwealth initially proposed a development buffer of 9 
nautical miles from the shore based on review of visual analysis 
materials. Based on input from the BOEMRE/Massachusetts Renewable 
Energy Task Force, the draft RFI was revised to begin 12 nautical miles 
offshore, which was presented at the September 8, 2010, Massachusetts 
Renewable Energy Task Force meeting. BOEMRE collected comments from 
task force members and held another meeting on October 15, 2010, to 
discuss additional requested changes. Several Massachusetts Renewable 
Energy Task Force members, including the State Historic Preservation 
Officer, the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah), the Mashpee 
Wampanoag Tribe, and representatives from the towns of Tisbury and Oak 
Bluffs, expressed a preference for the RFI area to begin 21 nautical 
miles offshore. BOEMRE has not changed the RFI boundary to begin 21 
nautical miles offshore, but has depicted the 21 nautical mile 
delineation on the RFI map as a point of information for potential 
developers.

Nantucket Lightship Habitat Closure Area

    Through consultation with the BOEMRE/Massachusetts Renewable Energy 
Task Force, the National Oceanic

[[Page 82060]]

and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Fisheries Service 
(NMFS) has identified the Nantucket Lightship Habitat Closure Area 
within the RFI Area. NMFS has closed this area to all bottom-tending 
mobile fishing gear in order to minimize adverse effects of fishing on 
essential fish habitat (EFH). The NMFS has indicated that commercial 
wind development within this area may be subject to additional review 
in order to ensure that conservation efforts in this area are 
maintained. This area can be located at the following URL: https://www.nero.noaa.gov/nero/regs/infodocs/MultsClosedAreas.pdf. BOEMRE has 
also included this area on the RFI map as a point of information for 
potential developers.

Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) and Navigational Issues

    BOEMRE is aware that the RFI area lies adjacent, or in close 
proximity to a Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) and thus the areas 
nominated in response to this RFI may need to be modified. The U.S. 
Coast Guard will require buffers from the edges of a TSS and from the 
entrance and exit to a TSS. Because proposed project characteristics 
will be unique to each individual project, the buffers will be further 
defined as more information is collected, such as vessel traffic types, 
density and routing direction. Further, it is important to note that 
two-way routes, fairways and TSSs are various forms of routing measures 
and that buffer dimensions will vary because of many factors, one of 
which is vessel traffic density/composition and rules-of-the-road 
protocol.
    BOEMRE will take into consideration and review data including but 
not limited to Automatic Identification System (AIS) data that is used 
on ships and vessel traffic services. The BOEMRE also will also consult 
with relevant agencies such as the U.S. Coast Guard regarding potential 
issues concerning the TSS and other navigational and safety issues and 
will use best management practices. Depending on the findings, BOEMRE 
and the U.S. Coast Guard will develop reasonable and appropriate 
mitigations such as conditions on turbine placement, preservation of 
adequate navigation buffers and setbacks, protection of vessel traffic 
lanes or other operational restrictions utilizing their existing 
authorities, policies, and procedures.
    If such mitigation cannot be achieved, portions of certain 
nominated areas may need to be excluded. The following blocks are 
highlighted for consideration of U.S. Coast Guard concerns: In Block 
Island Shelf NK19-10, blocks 6428, 6429, 6430, 6431, 6432, 6433, 6434, 
6480, 6481, 6482, 6483, 6484, 6532, 6533, 6534; In Hydrographer Canyon 
NK19-11, blocks 6317, 6356, 6357, 6358, 6359, 6360, 6361, 6362, 6363, 
6364, 6385, 6366, 6367, 6401, 6402, 6403, 6404, 6405, 6406, 6407, 6408, 
6409, 6410, 6411, 6412, 6413, 6414b, 6415, 6416, 6417, 6451, 6452, 
6453, 6454, 6461, 6462, 6463, 6464, 6465, 6466, 6467, 6501, 6502, 6511, 
6512, 6513, 6514, 6515, 6516, 6562, 6563, 6564.

Department of Defense Activities on the Outer Continental Shelf

    The Department of Defense conducts offshore testing, training, and 
operations on the Outer Continental Shelf. BOEMRE will consult with the 
Department of Defense on all proposed offshore wind energy projects to 
ensure that projects are compatible with Defense activities on the 
Outer Continental Shelf.

Map of RFI area

    A map of the RFI area can be found at the following URL: https://www.boemre.gov/offshore/RenewableEnergy/stateactivities.htm#Massachusetts.
    A large scale map of the RFI area showing boundaries of the RFI 
area with numbered blocks is available from BOEMRE at the following 
address: Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, 
Office of Offshore Alternative Energy Programs, 381 Elden Street, Mail 
Stop 4090, Herndon, Virginia 20170, Phone: (703) 787-1300, Fax: (703) 
787-1708.

Required Indication of Interest Information

    If you intend to submit an indication of interest in a commercial 
lease from BOEMRE for the development of wind resources in the area(s) 
identified in this RFI, you must provide the following:
    (1) The BOEMRE Protraction Diagram name, number, and specific whole 
or partial OCS blocks or areas within the RFI area that are of interest 
for commercial development, including any required buffer area. If your 
proposed project area includes one or more partial blocks please 
describe those partial blocks in terms of a sixteenth of an OCS block. 
Note that any indications of interest identifying areas greater than 
what would be reasonably necessary to develop a commercial wind 
facility will not be considered as valid indications of interest. In 
addition, BOEMRE will not consider any areas outside of the RFI area in 
this process;
    (2) A description of your objectives and the facilities that you 
may use to achieve those objectives;
    (3) A schedule of proposed activities, including those leading to 
commercial operations;
    (4) Available and pertinent data and information concerning 
renewable energy resources and environmental conditions in the RFI 
area, including energy and resource data and information used to 
evaluate the RFI area; and
    (5) Documentation demonstrating that you are legally, technically 
and financially qualified to hold a lease as set forth in 30 CFR 
285.106 and 285.107. Your technical and financial documentation should 
demonstrate that you are capable of constructing, operating, 
maintaining, and decommissioning the facilities described in (2) above. 
Documentation of financial qualification should include information 
establishing access to sufficient capital to carry out development. 
Examples of documentation of technical qualification may include 
evidence of international or domestic experience with renewable energy 
projects or other types of electric-energy-related projects.
    In addition, the Commonwealth has requested a description of plans 
for transmission to connect the wind energy project(s) to the on-shore 
grid. Please refer to the companion piece from the Commonwealth of 
Massachusetts that provides additional information on the State's 
interest and goals at: https://www.mass.gov/
?pageID=eoeeaterminal&L=4&L0=Home&L1=Energy%2c+Utilities+%26+Clean+Techn
ologies&L2=Renewable+Energy&L3=Wind&sid=Eoeea&b=terminalcontent&f=doer--
renewables--wind--offshore-wind&csid=Eoeea. If you include a 
description of plans for transmission, please follow the instructions 
in the companion piece, and include (a) a description of the physical 
configuration of the transmission system including specific points of 
interconnection to the grid and (b) the ownership structure of the 
transmission system. For example, with respect to physical 
configuration, do you anticipate one or more radial line(s) or a 
network system (i.e., connected to the grid in more than one location); 
and would the radial line(s) or network be sized to support only the 
proposed wind energy project(s) or to accommodate future projects as 
well? With respect to ownership structure, would the transmission 
system be owned by the developers of the wind energy project(s) or 
otherwise on a merchant basis, by a traditional transmission company, 
or

[[Page 82061]]

through some other arrangement? Additionally, on what funding 
assumptions are plans for the wind energy project(s), including the 
transmission system, predicated? With regard to transmission, we 
recommend that the potential lessee(s) review the report entitled 
``Strategic Options for Investment in Transmission in Support of 
Offshore Wind Development in Massachusetts,'' dated January 8, 2010; 
https://www.analysisgroup.com/uploadedFiles/Publishing/Articles/Strategic_Options_Offshore_Wind_12-01-09.pdf.
    It is critical that you submit a complete indication of interest so 
that BOEMRE may proceed with the commercial wind leasing process 
offshore Massachusetts in a timely manner. If BOEMRE reviews your 
indication of interest and determines that it is incomplete, BOEMRE 
will inform you of this determination in writing. This letter will 
describe the information that BOEMRE determined to be missing from your 
indication of interest, and that you must submit in order for BOEMRE to 
deem your submission complete. You will be given 15 business days from 
the date of the letter to submit the information that BOEMRE found to 
be missing from your original submission. If you do not meet this 
deadline, or if BOEMRE determines this second submittal to be 
insufficient as well, then BOEMRE retains the right to deem your 
indication of interest invalid. In that case, BOEMRE would not move 
forward with your indication of interest submitted in response to this 
RFI.

Protection of Privileged or Confidential Information

    BOEMRE will protect privileged or confidential information that you 
submit as required by the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Exemption 
4 of FOIA applies to trade secrets and commercial or financial 
information that you submit that is privileged or confidential. If you 
wish to protect the confidentiality of such information, clearly mark 
it and request that BOEMRE treat it as confidential. BOEMRE will not 
disclose such information, subject to the requirements of FOIA. Please 
label privileged or confidential information ``Contains Confidential 
Information'' and consider submitting such information as a separate 
attachment.
    However, BOEMRE will not treat as confidential any aggregate 
summaries of such information or comments not containing such 
information. Additionally, BOEMRE will not treat as confidential (1) 
the legal title of the nominating entity (for example, the name of your 
company), or (2) the list of whole or partial blocks that you are 
nominating.

Section 304 of NHPA (16 U.S.C. 470 et seq; 1966, as amended)

    BOEMRE is required, after consultation with the Secretary, to 
withhold the location, character, or ownership of historic resources if 
determination is made that the disclosure may, among other concerns, 
risk harm to the historic resources or impede the use of a traditional 
religious site by practitioners. Tribal entities should designate 
information that qualifies for protection under this section as 
confidential.

    Dated: December 17, 2010.
Michael R. Bromwich,
Director, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and 
Enforcement.
[FR Doc. 2010-32853 Filed 12-28-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-MR-P