Companies who wish to approach offshore wind projects in the U.S. may soon have to follow an approach that has been derived from the offshore wind power industry in Europe. According to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the approach, called project design envelope (PDE), has many benefits as it allows companies to describe their proposals in a better and more comprehensive manner.
BOEM has issued a draft guidance pertaining to the use of the approach and is presently seeking comments before the final guidance is issued later this year. The use of this approach is said to remain voluntary. In the draft guidance, BOEM has said that the approach allows potential lessees on offshore wind areas to identify a rational set of prospective design parameters for a number of critical components pertaining to a design, including the type of foundation, the number and type of turbine, location of onshore substation, location of export cable route, method of construction, timing, and the location of grid connection.
The approach, used in countries across Europe for permitting projects, would enable BOEM to carefully examine the potential impact of the development on the environment and understand the design elements that have the capability of presenting the greatest impact. BOEM has also mentioned that it will continue to assess guidelines, policies, and other documents associated with the assessment and approval of new projects or developments in Europe’s offshore wind power sector, including the usage of PDE. A webinar is to be held on the draft guidance on January 31.