US launches major offshore wind sale in the Central Atlantic.

By Oliver Townsend Jun 28, 2024
The US announces a big offshore wind sale in the Central Atlantic.jpegOrginal image from: https://electrek.co/2024/06/28/us-offshore-wind-sale-central-atlantic/

The US Department of the Interior (DOI) has announced a significant offshore wind sale in the Central Atlantic, spanning over 275,000 acres off the coasts of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. This sale is a part of the Central Atlantic Wind Energy Areas, with the potential to generate 6.3 gigawatts (GW) of clean energy, which can power over 2.2 million homes. The Final Sale Notice has been issued, with the lease auction scheduled for August 14. Seventeen companies have qualified to participate in this sale, marking a significant step towards meeting the offshore wind targets of the region.

Offshore Wind Expansion in the Central Atlantic

With the growing demand for offshore wind energy, the US government is taking proactive steps to engage stakeholders and ensure sustainable development. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the State of Maryland to identify additional acreage for offshore wind lease auctions in the Atlantic. This strategic move is crucial in meeting the renewable energy targets set by Maryland and other mid-Atlantic states. Liz Burdock, president and CEO at Oceantic Network, emphasized the importance of collaboration between federal and state agencies to achieve offshore wind goals.

Environmental and Economic Benefits

The offshore wind sale in the Central Atlantic not only supports clean energy generation but also brings economic opportunities and environmental benefits. The DOI has approved eight commercial-scale offshore wind projects in federal waters during the Biden administration. Additionally, BOEM has conducted multiple offshore wind lease sales along the East Coast and Gulf of Mexico, with plans for up to 12 additional lease sales through 2028. These initiatives are creating jobs, attracting investments, and fostering the growth of the domestic supply chain.

Commitment to Wildlife Protection

Concerns about the impact of offshore wind farms on wildlife are being addressed through responsible development practices. Amber Hewett, senior director of offshore wind energy for the National Wildlife Federation, emphasized the importance of investing in renewable energy while safeguarding wildlife and communities. The National Wildlife Federation supports the Central Atlantic offshore wind sale and advocates for stringent wildlife protections and community engagement throughout the development process.

Conclusion

The offshore wind sale in the Central Atlantic signifies a significant milestone in the expansion of clean energy resources in the US. By leveraging offshore wind potential, the government is not only advancing environmental sustainability but also driving economic growth and job creation. Collaborative efforts between federal agencies, states, and stakeholders are essential in achieving renewable energy targets and ensuring responsible development practices. The upcoming lease auction in the Central Atlantic is a testament to the commitment towards a greener and more sustainable future.

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