First-Ever Offshore Wind Lease Sale in the Gulf to Be Held This Summer

July 24, 2023 by Dan McCue
First-Ever Offshore Wind Lease Sale in the Gulf to Be Held This Summer
Offshore wind turbines (BP photo)

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration will hold the first-ever offshore wind energy lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico on Aug. 29.

According to the Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the areas to be auctioned have the potential to generate approximately 3.7 GW and power almost 1.3 million homes with clean, renewable energy.

“Today’s announcement marks another historic step in the Biden-Harris administration’s efforts to create a clean energy future. By catalyzing the offshore wind energy potential of the Gulf of Mexico, we can tackle the climate crisis, lower energy costs for families and create good-paying jobs,” said Interior Secretary Deb Haaland in a written statement.

Administration officials are touting the sale as another example of “Bidenomics” working for the people.

The final sale notice was published in the Federal Register on July 21, and includes a 102,480-acre area offshore Lake Charles, Louisiana, and two areas offshore Galveston, Texas, one comprising 102,480 acres and the other 96,786 acres. 

The notice provides detailed information about the final lease areas, lease provisions and conditions and auction details. It also identifies qualified companies who can participate in the lease auction. Details on the final sale notice, along with a map of the area, can be found on BOEM’s website.

Earlier this year, the department announced the proposed sale notice for offshore wind energy development in the Gulf of Mexico. During the 60-day comment period, BOEM received comments on several lease stipulations that supported the agency’s commitment to engage with underserved communities, ocean users and other stakeholders. 

Some of these stipulations, which are part of the FSN, include: bidding credits to bidders who commit to supporting workforce training; bidding credits for establishing and contributing to fisheries’ compensatory mitigation funds or contributing to an existing fund to mitigate potential negative impacts to commercial and for-hire recreational fisheries caused by offshore wind energy development in the Gulf of Mexico; and requiring that lessees provide a regular progress report summarizing engagement with tribes and ocean users potentially affected by proposed offshore wind energy activities.

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue

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  • Biden administration
  • Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
  • Gulf of Mexico
  • lease sale
  • wind energy
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