Renewable Energy | Page 4

Other portions of the Modernization Rule consider new additions to BOEM ’ s renewable energy program , including :
• Establishing a five-year Renewable Energy Leasing Schedule , updated every two years ;
• Eliminating unnecessary requirements for the deployment of meteorological buoys ;
• Increasing survey flexibility by deferring certain geotechnical survey requirements ;
• Focusing financial assurance requirements on estimated decommissioning obligations ;
• Expanding the operating period for a lease ;
• Allowing fabrication of certain project components before submission of a project ’ s facility design report ( FDR ) and fabrication and installation report ( FIR );
• Expanding the role of a certified verification agent ( CVA ) as an independent third-party reviewer of a project ’ s design , fabrication , and installation .
Industry members , stakeholders , and regulators commented on the Modernization Rule , expressing their views on the most significant regulatory proposal the U . S . offshore wind industry has seen in more than thirteen years . BOEM is expected to finalize the proposed rule in early 2024 .
b . Project Reviews and Resulting Litigation
As BOEM seeks to modernize its renewable energy program , the agency continues to review offshore wind project applications and defend its issuance of authorizations to projects that have now begun construction . Dozens of projects have submitted Construction and Operations Plans ( COPs ) to BOEM for review of their projects pursuant to the agency ’ s authority under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act ( OCSLA ). For each project , BOEM conducts an environmental review as required by the National Environmental Policy Act ( NEPA ). BOEM also coordinates with the many other federal and state cooperating and consulting agencies . The overlapping statutory mandates of these agencies creates a complex permitting process , and the permitting timeline for an offshore wind project is still estimated to be eight to ten years from lease issuance to start of construction . Despite BOEM ’ s increased experience in reviewing project applications , rapid growth of the industry and an increase in the number of applications submitted , coupled with the agency ’ s finite resources , have prevented shortened permitting timelines from materializing .
However , headlines suggest the federal government continues to make progress on its goal of 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030 . Two projects — Vineyard Wind and South Fork Wind — have received all necessary permits and have begun construction offshore Massachusetts and New York . Both projects have faced and continue to face legal challenges to their federal approvals . Most legal claims are