Biden-Harris Administration Announces Offshore Wind Area Lease Sale in the Gulf of Mexico

For Immediate Release: July 20, 2023

Media Contact: Katharine Kollins, katharinek@sewind.org 

Raleigh, N.C. – The Department of the Interior announced today that it will hold the first-ever offshore wind energy lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico, marking a historic step in the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to achieve 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030. 

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will hold an offshore wind energy lease sale on Aug. 29, 2023, for three areas on the Outer Continental Shelf in the Gulf of Mexico. The Final Sale Notice (FSN), which will be published in the Federal Register on July 21, 2023, includes a 102,480-acre area offshore Lake Charles, La. and two areas offshore Galveston, TX, one comprising 102,480 acres and the other 96,786 acres. These three areas have the potential to power almost 1.3 million homes with clean energy and support the creation of new jobs.

BOEM will utilize a multiple-factor bidding auction for these lease sales, granting bidding credits to potential bidders for commitments to:

  1. 20% bidding credit for commitments to supporting workforce training programs for the offshore wind industry or developing a domestic supply chain for the offshore wind industry, or combination of both;
  2. 10% bidding credit for commitments to establishing and contributing to a fisheries compensatory mitigation fund or contributing to an existing fund to mitigate potential negative impacts to commercial and for-hire recreational fisheries caused by OCS offshore wind development in the GOM. 

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has expressed significant interest in securing the Pelican State’s role as a national leader in the offshore wind industry. Louisiana’s Climate Action Plan, released in 2022, sets an offshore wind power generation goal of 5 GW by 2035 and demonstrates clear support from the executive branch for offshore wind development. 

With a long history of offshore oil and gas development, offshore wind presents an opportunity to leverage this expertise as the transition to renewable energy gains momentum in the Southeast. Six Louisiana companies significantly contributed to the construction of the Block Island Wind Farm in Rhode Island, the nation’s first offshore wind project. The offshore wind industry offers a natural extension of Louisiana’s experienced energy workforce with numerous discussions and efforts already underway to ensure Louisiana can capitalize on the $109B economic investment opportunity.

SEWC’s Katharine Kollins released the following statement regarding the lease sale announcement: “The announcement of offshore wind energy leases in Louisiana signifies an incredible opportunity for the state to capitalize on the immense economic potential that the industry has to offer. Louisiana’s commitment to the offshore wind industry stands out with planning from every level of state government, port activity, and major partnerships and supply chain projects announced regularly. With state-water leasing also on the horizon, Louisiana can begin manufacturing components and readying a workforce for projects in their backyard.” 

About SEWC

The Southeastern Wind Coalition is a 501(c)3 that works to advance the land-based and offshore wind industry in the Southeast. We focus on providing fact-based information on the economic and environmental opportunities of wind energy, and encourage solutions that result in net economic benefits to residents and ratepayers. For more information about the Southeastern Wind Coalition visit www.sewind.org.

 

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