US extends offshore work deadlines

The US Interior Department (DOI) will now give offshore wind lease area holders up to one year to submit plans for site assessment and/or construction activities related to resource data collection and technology testing.

The change will take effect on 17 May.

Previously DOI’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) had required lease and grant holders 60 days to submit a Site Assessment Plan (SAP) or General Activities Plan (GAP) if it determined there was no competitive interest, or 180 days if a lease was issued competitively.

BOEM says the change was prompted by feedback from developers who had indicated they would request “departures” from the time limits, arguing that site characterization activities are significantly affected and controlled by seasonal weather conditions.

A SAP contains a lessee's detailed proposal for the installation of a meteorological tower or buoy on its lease for the purpose of obtaining site-specific resource data. A GAP describes a developer's proposed renewable energy construction activities - installation of a meteorological tower, transmission cable or a substation - on a limited lease, a right-of-way grant, or a right-of-use-and-easement grant.