Four New Wind Energy Areas Designated in Gulf of Mexico

October 27, 2023 by Dan McCue
Four New Wind Energy Areas Designated in Gulf of Mexico

WASHINGTON — Four new offshore wind energy areas with a combined potential to power more than 3 million homes have been finalized as ready to lease by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

The announcement on Friday follows the first-ever Gulf of Mexico offshore wind lease sale earlier this year.

“Creating an offshore wind industry in the Gulf of Mexico will take time and partnership,” said Elizabeth Klein, the agency’s director, in a written statement.  

“BOEM is pursuing another offshore wind lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico due to continued industry interest and feedback from our partners and key stakeholders,” she said, adding that her agency is continuing to work with coastal states, native tribes, other government partners, ocean users and local communities as it continues to responsibly develop offshore areas while minimizing potential conflicts.

Since President Joe Biden took office in January 2021, the bureau has approved the nation’s first four commercial scale offshore wind projects, held four offshore wind lease auctions totaling almost $5.5 billion in high bids, initiated environmental reviews of 10 offshore wind projects, and advanced the process to explore additional opportunities in Oregon, the Gulf of Maine and the Central Atlantic. 

Before finalizing the wind energy areas, the bureau collaborated with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science to build a model that analyzed the entire Gulf of Mexico ecosystem to identify and minimize potential conflicts with marine resources and ocean users. 

It also incorporated feedback from tribes, other government agencies, ocean users and others to help identify potential offshore locations that appeared most suitable for offshore wind energy development.  

The four new wind energy areas are:

  • Option J: 495,567 acres located approximately 47.2 miles off the coast of Texas, with the potential to support projects that could power 2.1 million homes. 
  • Option K: 119,635 acres located approximately 61.5 miles off the coast of Texas, with the potential to support projects that could power 508,200 homes. 
  • Option L: 91,157 acres located approximately 52.9 miles off the coast of Texas, with the potential to support projects that could power 387,450 homes.
  • Option N: 56,978 acres located approximately 82 miles off the coast of Louisiana with the potential to support projects that could power approximately 242,000 homes. 

The next steps in the competitive leasing process include the issuance of a proposed sale notice with a 60-day public comment period.

The first Gulf of Mexico offshore wind lease sale brought in a high bid of $5.6 million from RWE Offshore US Gulf, LLC, for the Lake Charles Lease Area, which agency officials said has the potential to support up to 1.24 gigawatts of offshore wind energy capacity and power nearly 435,000 homes.

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and @DanMcCue

A+
a-
  • Gulf of Mexico
  • offshore wind
  • In The News

    Health

    Voting

    Renewable Energy

    February 20, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    EPA Issues Permit Advancing Offshore Wind Project in New York

    WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency granted a Clean Air Act permit to New York’s Empire Offshore Wind project, a... Read More

    WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency granted a Clean Air Act permit to New York’s Empire Offshore Wind project, a critical step in advancing the development of the massive wind farm off the Long Island coast. The EPA issued the permit to project owner Equinor on... Read More

    February 13, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Feds Designate Two Massive Areas for Wind Farm Development Off Oregon Coast

    WASHINGTON— The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on Monday announced it has designated two large swaths of sea off the... Read More

    WASHINGTON— The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on Monday announced it has designated two large swaths of sea off the Oregon coast as ripe for wind energy development. The two areas total roughly 195,012 acres, and according to the agency, “avoid 98% of the areas recommended... Read More

    February 12, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Energy Dept. to Invest $4.75M in National Center for Offshore Wind

    WASHINGTON — The Department of Energy is investing $4.75 million to establish a new national center of excellence to accelerate... Read More

    WASHINGTON — The Department of Energy is investing $4.75 million to establish a new national center of excellence to accelerate the development of “reliable and equitable” offshore wind power in the United States. The Academic Center for Reliability and Resilience of Offshore Wind will be led... Read More

    February 12, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Survey Finds Public Broadly Supports Biden’s Wind Energy Goals

    WASHINGTON — A recent survey shows that large swaths of the public support President Joe Biden’s offshore wind and renewable... Read More

    WASHINGTON — A recent survey shows that large swaths of the public support President Joe Biden’s offshore wind and renewable agenda, but they nevertheless continue to knock him on job performance. The survey of 2,038 adults in U.S. coastal counties was conducted late last year by... Read More

    February 12, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Scientists Set Record for Fusion-Generated Energy

    OXFORDSHIRE, U.K. — Researchers at a joint European testing facility set a record for the amount of energy generated from... Read More

    OXFORDSHIRE, U.K. — Researchers at a joint European testing facility set a record for the amount of energy generated from the process of nuclear fusion, but experts say machines capable of safely supplying that energy to the grid are still decades away. The breakthrough, announced on... Read More

    In Rural Utah, Concern Over Efforts to Use Colorado River Water to Extract Lithium

    GREEN RIVER, Utah (AP) — A plan to extract lithium — the lustrous, white metal used in electric vehicle batteries... Read More

    GREEN RIVER, Utah (AP) — A plan to extract lithium — the lustrous, white metal used in electric vehicle batteries — in southeast Utah is adding to an anxiety familiar in the arid American West: how the project could affect water from the Colorado River. An... Read More

    News From The Well
    scroll top