SEWC Statement on Louisiana Offshore Wind Operating Agreements
For Immediate Release: December 15, 2023
Media Contact: Jenny Netherton, email@example.com
New Orleans, L.A. – This week, Louisiana approved the first two Operating Agreements for offshore wind leases in Louisiana state waters. Diamond Offshore Wind was granted 6,127 acres in the waters off of Fourchon Parish, while Cajun Wind, LLC was granted an area just under 60,000 acres in Cameron Parish waters. These Operating Agreements represent a significant step by the state and Governor John Bel Edwards towards Louisiana’s goal of 5 GW of offshore wind by 2035.
These projects will require a different permitting process than federal offshore wind leases because development in Louisiana’s state waters falls outside of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) jurisdiction. Additionally, environmental groups have raised concerns surrounding development in these nearshore waters, which require unique consideration compared to more remote federal waters.
In public comments on the draft Operating Agreements, the Southeastern Wind Coalition identified potential barriers to the viability of projects, including those relevant to funding and insurance. Regulatory certainty is essential for developers to secure financing for offshore wind projects and it will be necessary to shape these agreements in ways that increase clarity for both developers and the State.
The signing of a lease or Operating Agreement is the first step in a years-long planning process with many opportunities for public engagement. We look forward to working with the State of Louisiana, Diamond Offshore Wind, Cajun Wind, and Louisiana residents to ensure these projects are a successful example of the vast potential of offshore wind in the Gulf. State waters present another opportunity for Louisiana to continue our lead in the production of domestic energy resources.
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.