The US announces a big offshore wind sale in the Central Atlantic


The US announces a big offshore wind sale in the Central Atlantic

The US Department of the Interior (DOI) today announced an offshore wind Final Sale Notice and auction for 275,000+ acres off the coasts of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia.

The Central Atlantic Wind Energy Areas have the potential to generate 6.3 gigawatts (GW) of clean energy – enough to power over 2.2 million homes. The Final Sale Notice is the last step required of the DOI to hold a lease auction for the area, which is scheduled for August 14. Seventeen companies have qualified to participate in the August sale.  

Earlier this month, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the State of Maryland to engage stakeholders in identifying acreage for additional offshore wind lease auctions in the Atlantic. Additional acreage is critical to meeting the offshore wind targets of Maryland and other mid-Atlantic states. 

Liz Burdock, president and CEO at Oceantic Network, said:

Recognizing the growing demand for offshore wind energy and the diverse set of stakeholders involved, BOEM consistently demonstrates its commitment to working directly with states to ensure their offshore wind targets can be met. These efforts, in combination with the other three lease sales set to happen in 2024, are leading to more jobs, increased investment, and continued growth of the domestic supply chain.

During the Biden administration, the DOI has approved the US’s first eight commercial-scale offshore wind energy projects in federal waters. BOEM has held four offshore wind lease sales, including offshore New York, New Jersey, and the Carolinas, and the first-ever sales offshore the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico coasts. The DOI recently announced a schedule of up to 12 additional lease sales through 2028.  

And just in case you or someone you know are worried about how further offshore wind farm development is going to affect wildlife, Amber Hewett, senior director of offshore wind energy for the National Wildlife Federation, had this to say in an email about the Central Atlantic offshore wind sale:

Investments in the responsible development of clean, renewable energy, including offshore wind, will provide high-quality job opportunities while helping to protect wildlife and communities from the threat of climate change.

The National Wildlife Federation applauds this important step in the process, and we look forward to working with our Central Atlantic partners to continue increasing offshore wind energy output while pressing for stringent wildlife protections and community engagement every step of the way.

Read more: Vineyard Wind 1 just became the US’s largest operating offshore wind farm

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