The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has proposed a rule to extend the initial lease period for offshore renewable energy projects to 12 months, stating that the current requirements have “proven to be impractical.” 78 Fed. Reg. 12,676 (2/25/13).
Under the current rules for these leases, a lessee must submit either a site assessment plan or a general activities plan within six months after obtaining a lease under competitive bidding processes and within 60 days if the department determines that competitive procedures are not needed. The agency reports that lessees are finding these deadlines difficult to meet and many expect to seek extensions. The proposed rule is intended to eliminate the need for extensions and provide sufficient time to complete the necessary planning processes.