Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland says the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will hold a wind power auction next month for more than 480,000 acres off the shores of New York and New Jersey, in the area known as the New York Bight.
The Feb. 23 auction will allow offshore wind developers to bid on six lease areas – the most areas ever offered in a single auction – as described in BOEM’s Final Sale Notice. Leases offered in this sale could result in 5.6 GW to 7 GW of offshore wind energy, which is enough to power nearly 2 million homes. As offshore wind technology continues to advance, these areas may have the potential to produce even more clean energy.
“The Biden-Harris administration has made tackling the climate crisis a centerpiece of our agenda, and offshore wind opportunities like the New York Bight present a once-in-a-generation opportunity to fight climate change and create good-paying, union jobs in the United States,” says Haaland. “We are at an inflection point for domestic offshore wind energy development. We must seize this moment – and we must do it together.”
“Offshore wind holds the tremendous promise for our future in terms of climate change, economic growth, strengthening our work force and job creation,” states New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. “New Jersey is already committed to creating nearly one-quarter of the nation’s offshore wind-generation market and these transformative projects are proof that climate action can drive investments in infrastructure and manufacturing, while creating good-paying, union jobs. By acting on this this shared vision, we can promote our joint offshore wind goals, and deliver benefits to residents of both states, particularly those in overburdened communities. Together, with this critical cooperation with the Biden-Harris administration and our state partners, we will turn this vision of becoming a leader in the global offshore wind market into a reality.”
The Biden-Harris administration’s goal to install 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030 is complemented by state offshore wind policies and actions throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. Collectively, New York and New Jersey have set the nation’s largest regional offshore wind target of installing over 16 GW of offshore wind by 2035.
“The long-anticipated leasing of the New York Bight creates a globally attractive market and is a giant step towards realizing the Biden Administration goal of developing 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030,” says Liz Burdock, president and CEO of Business Network for Offshore Wind. “These six new lease areas will draw in new investors and developers to the U.S. market and foster the competition that will catalyze major supply chain development regionally and nationally. Sustaining this momentum is critical to the federal government to support the new but quickly growing U.S. offshore wind manufacturing base and supply chain. With its potential to supply large-scale and dependable clean energy, the responsible development of offshore wind is still our best strategy to quickly decarbonizing our economy and mitigating the effects of climate change.”
A recent report indicates that the United States’ growing offshore wind industry presents a $109 billion opportunity in revenue to businesses in the supply chain over the next decade.
“Here in New York, we are already living with the effects of climate change through extreme weather that pose a direct threat to our way of life,” New York Governor Kathy Hochul adds. “We must chart an ambitious path toward a cleaner energy economy now more than ever, and today’s milestone further highlights New York’s commitment to reaching its offshore wind goals. This effort will require collaboration at all levels. I applaud the Biden Administration for their action and thank Secretary Haaland and BOEM, as well as New Jersey Governor Murphy, for their partnership as we build on New York’s offshore wind energy development.”
The New York Bight offshore wind auction will include several lease stipulations designed to promote the development of a domestic U.S. supply chain for offshore wind and enhance engagement with Tribes, the commercial fishing industry, other ocean users and underserved communities. The stipulations will also advance flexibility in transmission planning and make use of project labor agreements throughout the construction of offshore wind projects. Stipulations include incentives to source major components domestically – such as blades, turbines and foundations – and to enter into project labor agreements to ensure projects are union-built.
To advance the department’s environmental justice and economic empowerment goals, the sale notice also requires lessees to identify Tribes, underserved communities and other ocean users who could be affected by offshore wind development. The Interior Department will hold companies accountable for improving their engagement, communication and transparency with these communities.
BOEM initially asked for information and nominations of commercial interest for 1,735,154 acres in the Bight. Based on the bureau’s review of scientific data, and extensive input from the commercial fishing industry, Tribes, partnering agencies, key stakeholders and the public, BOEM reduced the acreage by 72% to avoid conflicts with ocean users and minimize environmental impacts. BOEM will continue to engage with stakeholders as the process unfolds.
More information about the auction, lease stipulations, list of qualified bidders for the auction and Interior’s collaboration with New York and New Jersey can be found here.