Interior Department Proposes Offshore Wind Sales in Oregon, Gulf of Maine


The Department of the Interior has announced two offshore wind energy auction proposals brought forward by BOEM, located off the coast of Oregon and in the Gulf of Maine. 

The agency says the combined projects may potentially generate 18 GW. 

“Since the start of the Biden-Harris administration, the Department of the Interior has approved the nation’s first eight commercial-scale offshore wind energy projects,” says Secretary Deb Haaland. 

“Today’s announcement represents another stride in our commitment to building a greener energy future while creating jobs and supporting families. 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.”

BOEM partnered with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science during the multi-year planning process. The agency plans to continue working through its Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Forces to coordinate on potential lease sales and support ongoing stakeholder engagement processes. 

The first-ever offshore wind energy auction in the Gulf of Maine Wind Energy Area would include eight lease areas offshore Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, totaling nearly one million acres, with an approximate 15 GW capacity.  

BOEM is seeking feedback on various aspects of the proposed lease areas, including size, orientation, location and certain stipulations.  The agency proposes to conduct simultaneous auctions for the lease areas using multiple-factor bidding. It seeks feedback on this process, as well as on providing bidding credits to those committed to supporting workforce training programs or supply chain development, or for a fisheries compensatory mitigation fund. 

The proposed lease sale in Oregon includes two lease areas totaling 194,995 acres, one in the Coos Bay Wind Energy Area and the other in the Brookings Wind Energy Area.

BOEM is seeking feedback on several proposed lease stipulations, including providing bidding credits to bidders that commit to supporting workforce training programs for the floating offshore wind energy industry and developing a domestic supply chain for the floating offshore wind industry. The proposal also includes providing bidding credits to those committed to executing community benefit agreements. 

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