WASHINGTON, April 17 (UPI) -- Companies now have more time to submit plans to the federal government for offshore renewable energy projects, the Interior Department said.
The department's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said it extended the time requirement for site assessment plans for renewable energy development on the Outer Continental Shelf.
BOEM Director Tommy Beaudreau said companies now have 12 months to submit their plans after they've been granted a lease, nearly twice as long as the previous requirement.
"To help foster diligent and responsible offshore renewable energy development, BOEM is making practical adjustments to these planning requirements," he said in a statement Wednesday.
BOEM last year issued two leases for offshore wind energy development in the Atlantic Ocean. In February, U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said the Oregon coast may host additional wind energy projects.
Combined, the federal government estimates the wind energy potential offshore at nearly 2,000 gigawatts.