US Proposes Offshore Wind Auctions Off Oregon and Maine Coasts

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

The Biden administration on Tuesday unveiled a plan to sell offshore wind leases in waters off the coasts of Maine and Oregon later this year, saying projects in those regions could one day power a total of 6 million homes.

The proposed sales are part of a five-year schedule of offshore wind auctions the Interior Department outlined last week. Putting wind turbines along every U.S. coastline is a cornerstone of President Joe Biden's agenda to decarbonize the electricity grid and combat climate change.

In a statement, Interior said it was proposing to offer eight leases in the Gulf of Maine at an auction later this year, the first such sale in those waters. The leases, covering nearly 1 million acres (404,680 hectares) combined, would be along the coasts of Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. They would support projects that could one day power more than 5 million homes.

In Oregon, the agency is proposing to sell two lease areas of nearly 195,000 acres (78,910 hectares) in total. Projects there would have the potential to power more than 1 million homes.

Fishing interests in both Oregon and Maine have voiced opposition to offshore wind development due to concerns about the industry's impact on the industry.

Interior said it had sought to avoid fishing grounds and transit routes in identifying the areas to lease.

Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is seeking public comment on the proposals, which would be finalized in September. The sales are expected to take place in October, according to a document from the agency.

(Reuters - Reporting by Nichola Groom; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

Categories: Offshore Energy Activity North America Renewables Offshore Wind

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