The US Department of the Interior announced that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has identified close to 735,000 acres for potential offshore wind energy development in the Gulf of Mexico in response to President Biden’s call to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy.
The first draft wind energy area is located approximately 24 nautical miles off the coast of Galveston, Texas. The area for review totals 546,645 acres and has the potential to power 2.3m homes with wind energy. The second area is located around 56 nautical miles off the coast of Lake Charles, Louisiana. The area under review totals 188,023 acres and has the potential to power 799,000 homes.
The two draft areas are open for public comment at BOEM and represent a subset of the original 30m acre Gulf of Mexico call area that the Department of the Interior announced for public comment in October 2021.
The Department of the Interior added it will also pursue wind energy development in the waters off the mid-and southern Atlantic Coast and Florida’s Gulf Coast. By 2025, it plans to potentially hold up to five additional offshore lease sales and complete the review of at least 16 plans to construct and operate commercial, offshore wind energy facilities, which would represent more than 22 GW of clean energy.
Liz Burdock, CEO and founder of the Business Network for Offshore Wind, said: “President Biden’s actions today will help drive development of the emerging offshore wind supply chain by unlocking much-needed workforce expertise, resources, and infrastructure in the Gulf of Mexico and giving traditional energy workers opportunities to transition to new, good-paying jobs.”