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The U.S. Department of the Interior's (DOI) Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) says it has received an unsolicited request for a research lease in the wind energy area (WEA) off Virginia identified for commercial wind leasing.

The research would inform future renewable energy production within and around the WEA off Virginia. BOEM seeks public input on the research proposal.

Virginia's Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) submitted the request to conduct wind-energy-related research activities, including the installation of two meteorological and ocean monitoring platforms that would collect data on wind velocities, water levels, waves, and bird and bat activities.

BOEM has published a public notice of an unsolicited request for an Outer Continental Shelf research lease, a request for competitive interest, and a request for public comment in the Federal Register in order to obtain public input on the research proposal, its potential environmental consequences and the use of the area in which the proposed project would be located.

BOEM is also asking whether there are federal agencies or state entities interested in obtaining a research lease within the same area identified by DMME that would support potential wind energy development. The public comment period ends Jan. 22.

A map of the proposed leasing area is available here.



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