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FILE PHOTO: Teun van den Dries / Shutterstock

Biden Administration Proposes New Offshore Wind Auctions Off Maine, Oregon

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 563
April 30, 2024

The Department of the Interior has announced two proposals for offshore wind lease sales off the Oregon coast and the Gulf of Maine.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) proposals could potentially generate over 18 gigawatts of offshore wind energy when operating at full capacity, the equivalent to the demand of over six million homes annually.

The first-ever Gulf of Maine Wind Energy Area auction will include eight lease areas, totaling nearly one million acres. These areas could generate approximately 15 GW of renewable energy at full capacity. Maine is contender for becoming the first state in the U.S. to deploy floating offshore wind turbines.

Meanwhile, the proposed lease sale in Oregon includes two lease areas, the Coos Bay Wind Energy Area and the the Brookings Wind Energy Area, totaling 194,995 acres. This plan could power over one million homes.

To date, the BOEM has approved eight commercial-scale offshore wind energy projects, which have a combined capacity of over 10 gigawatts. The Department of the Interior has held four offshore wind lease auctions, including sales in the New York – New Jersey region, offshore the Carolinas, and the first-ever sales offshore the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico coasts.

“As we move forward with offshore wind energy in Oregon and the Gulf of Maine, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management remains dedicated to close collaboration with our government partners and key stakeholders,” said BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein. “We’re excited to unveil these proposed sales and emphasize our commitment to exploring the potential for offshore wind development from coast to coast.”

“As we move forward with offshore wind energy in Oregon and the Gulf of Maine, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management remains dedicated to close collaboration with our government partners and key stakeholders,” said BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein. “We’re excited to unveil these proposed sales and emphasize our commitment to exploring the potential for offshore wind development from coast to coast.”

On April 24, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced a new five-year offshore wind lease schedule. The plan includes up to 12 potential offshore wind energy lease sales through 2029 in Gulf of Maine, New York Bight, Central Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, the Carolinas, California, and Oregon.

“We’re taking decisive action to catalyze America’s offshore wind industry and leverage American innovation to provide reliable, affordable power to homes and businesses, all while addressing the climate crisis,” said Haaland.

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