US Plans Major Offshore Wind Lease Sale in Central Atlantic

The US Department of the Interior has announced plans to conduct a significant wind energy lease sale in the , marking a pivotal step towards expanding clean energy production. Scheduled for August 14, 2024, the auction by the (BOEM) aims to unlock areas capable of generating up to 6.3GW of renewable energy, potentially powering 2.2 million homes.

Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland emphasized the administration's commitment to advancing a clean energy future, stating, “We are taking action to jumpstart America's offshore wind energy industry and using American innovation to deliver reliable, affordable power to homes and businesses, while also addressing the climate crisis.”

The lease sale will encompass two distinct areas: Lease Area A-2, spanning 101,443 acres off and Maryland approximately 26 nautical miles from Delaware Bay, and Lease Area C-1, covering 176,505 acres off about 35 nautical miles from the mouth of Chesapeake Bay.

BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein highlighted the agency's dedication to responsible offshore wind development, noting, “We are excited to announce this sale and underscore our commitment to explore additional areas in the Central Atlantic for potential offshore wind energy development.”

Seventeen qualified companies are slated to participate in the upcoming auction, underscoring robust industry interest in expanding offshore wind capacity along the US East Coast. BOEM's collaborative approach includes working with stakeholders and ocean users to ensure environmental considerations are prioritized throughout the development process.

The Final Sale Notice (FSN), publishing on June 29 in the Federal Register, provides comprehensive details on lease areas, auction procedures, and criteria for bid evaluation and lease award. It also outlines ongoing efforts to engage with state and tribal partners through initiatives like the Central Atlantic Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force.

“The Biden-Harris administration is committed to leveraging offshore wind energy as a cornerstone of its climate strategy,” Haaland added. “Through collaborative efforts with states, Tribes, and stakeholders, we are poised to maximize the sustainable potential of our offshore resources while fostering economic growth and environmental stewardship.”

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