As part of the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of deploying 30 GW of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030 and 15 GW of floating offshore wind by 2035, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has identified two draft Wind Energy Areas (WEAs) off the coast of Oregon and opened a 60-day public review and comment period on those WEAs.
The two draft WEAs combined cover approximately 219,568 acres off the coast of southern Oregon, with their closest points ranging from approximately 18-32 miles off the coast.
During the current 60-day public comment period on the draft WEAs, BOEM will hold an intergovernmental task force meeting with Oregon officials in addition to the public meetings.
Due to the deep waters off of Oregon’s coast, these areas are opportune for accelerating U.S. leadership in floating technologies. The draft WEAs would tap up to 2.6 GW of Oregon’s potential.
The two draft WEAs reflect changes based on public, stakeholder and interagency engagement from the Oregon Call Area that the Department of the Interior released for public comment in April 2022. Public input from this new comment period will be considered before formally designating final WEAs off the coast of Oregon.
Throughout the 60-day public comment period, BOEM will hold public meetings to outline data and information used to inform the draft WEAs and to discuss next steps. The meetings are open to the public, with one specifically designed for engaging the fishing community. BOEM will also convene an Oregon Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force meeting to discuss the draft WEAs and next steps in offshore wind energy planning in Oregon. Additional information on the webinars will be available on the BOEM Oregon state activities page.
Welcoming the release of new draft WEAs, Liz Burdock, founder and CEO of the Business Network for Offshore Wind (BNOW), comments: “The U.S. has an opportunity to emerge as a global leader in floating offshore wind; the development of a region-wide, not state specific, supply chain is critical to building the expertise and manufacturing base capable of supporting the industry. The introduction of these new WEAs will benefit not just Oregon, but California and Washington by attracting new investments in ports, vessels and supply chain companies and delivering reliable power to the Western grid.”
BOEM will accept comments on the draft WEAs through 11:59 p.m. ET on October 16. To comment, please visit this web page.