The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced that it will be preparing an environmental assessment (EA) for a potential meteorological data collection facility offshore from Tybee Island, Georgia. The EA is the next step in advancing Southern Company’s potential plans for building meteorological tower and/or meteorological buoy to gather data to help determine the feasibility of an offshore wind farm in this location. Back in April 2011, Southern Company applied for a five-year lease on an area covering three Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) blocks–or 27 square nautical miles–for data collection purposes. You can download the notice of intent here.
The EA will focus on addressing impacts associated with site characterization, installation, deployment, and decommissioning of the meteorological tower and/or meteorological buoy planned by Southern Company.
BOEM will accept public comments for the EA until January 14, 2012. Citizens will have an opportunity to provide input on environmental issues that should be considered in deciding whether to issue the lease. Comments may be submitted to BOEM here (click on the “Open Comment Document” link) or through this Salsa-action page.
This is exciting news for Georgia and the Southeast! This is a great step forward for Southern Company to continue studying our state’s abundant offshore wind resource, and this assessment advances the possibility of building our state’s first offshore wind farm. Georgia has about 14.5 gigawatts of developable offshore wind energy potential, which is enough to provide a third of the state’s electricity. Read more about Georgia’s wind resources here.