U.S. plans up to 12 offshore wind auctions through 2028

The (DOE) report predicts that during the offshore wind ... construction period, there will be a need for 31,300 full-time-equivalent jobs per year.

(NEW ORLEANS) — In remarks at the International Partnering Forum conference in New Orleans on Wednesday, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced a new five-year offshore wind leasing schedule, which includes up to 12 potential offshore wind energy lease sales through 2028.

Future offshore wind energy lease sales from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) are anticipated in the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, Pacific and the waters offshore of the U.S. territories in the next five years. The leasing schedule includes four potential offshore lease sales in 2024, one each in 2025 and 2026, two in 2027, and four in 2028.

Since the start of the Biden-Harris administration, the Interior Department has approved the nation’s first eight commercial scale offshore wind projects, held four offshore wind lease auctions – including a record-breaking sale offshore New York and the first sales offshore the Pacific and Gulf Coasts – and advanced the process to establish additional Wind Energy Areas in Oregon, the Gulf of Maine and the Central Atlantic.

Thus far, the department has approved more than 10 gigawatts of clean energy from offshore wind projects – enough to power nearly 4 million homes. The department has also taken steps to grow a sustainable offshore wind industry by encouraging the use of project labor agreements, strengthening workforce training, bolstering a domestic supply chain, and through enhanced engagement with tribes, fisheries, underserved communities and ocean users.

“As the transition to a clean energy economy continues to accelerate, BOEM hopes to provide certainty and transparency by regularly providing a renewable energy leasing schedule,” said BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein. “Routinely issuing a leasing schedule demonstrates our commitment to a long-term portfolio of leases and provides advance notice to stakeholders of the areas that are being considered for future lease sales, and facilitates planning by tribes, states, localities, interest groups, academia, non-profits, fisheries, federal agencies and other stakeholders.”

In 2021, Haaland announced an offshore wind leasing schedule through 2025. The new offshore wind energy leasing plan includes the following sales over the next five years:

2024 – Central Atlantic, Gulf of Maine, Gulf of Mexico and Oregon
2025 – Gulf of Mexico
2026 – Central Atlantic
2027 – Gulf of Mexico and New York Bight
2028 – California, a U.S. territory, Gulf of Maine and Hawaii

BOEM will continue to work through its Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Forces, which include representatives from federal, state and local agencies and tribal governments, to coordinate on potential lease sales and support ongoing stakeholder engagement processes on broader offshore wind considerations – for example, state-led development of strategic roadmaps on offshore wind, which can help inform the multi-year process for proposed projects.

– Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

By Professional Mariner Staff