(WASHINGTON) — Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced Wednesday that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will hold a wind auction next month for more than 480,000 acres offshore New York and New Jersey, in the area known as the New York Bight.
Haaland was joined by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, and Liz Shuler, president of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, to highlight what will be the first offshore wind lease sale under the Biden-Harris administration.
The Feb. 23 auction will allow offshore wind developers to bid on six lease areas – the most areas ever offered in a single auction – as described in BOEM’s Final Sale Notice. Leases offered in this sale could result in 5.6 to 7 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind energy, enough to power nearly 2 million homes. As offshore wind technology continues to advance, these areas may have the potential to produce even more clean energy.
On Wednesday’s call, the leaders outlined a shared vision for developing a robust offshore wind domestic supply chain that will deliver benefits to residents of New York and New Jersey and the surrounding region, including underserved communities. This collaboration will serve as a model for future engagement and establish the United States as a major player in the global offshore wind market.
The Biden-Harris administration’s goal to install 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030 is complemented by state offshore wind policies and actions throughout the Northeast and mid-Atlantic. Collectively, New York and New Jersey have set the nation’s largest regional offshore wind target of installing over 16 GW of offshore wind by 2035.
A recent report indicates that the United States’ growing offshore wind industry presents a $109 billion opportunity in revenue to businesses in the supply chain over the next decade.
The New York Bight offshore wind auction will include several innovative lease stipulations designed to promote the development of a robust domestic U.S. supply chain for offshore wind and enhance engagement with tribes, the commercial fishing industry, other ocean users, and underserved communities. The stipulations will also advance flexibility in transmission planning and make use of project labor agreements throughout the construction of offshore wind projects. Stipulations include incentives to source major components domestically – such as blades, turbines and foundations – and to enter into project labor agreements to ensure projects are union-built.
BOEM initially asked for information and nominations of commercial interest for 1,735,154 acres in the Bight. Based on the bureau’s review of scientific data, and extensive input from the commercial fishing industry, tribes, partnering agencies, key stakeholders, and the public, BOEM reduced the acreage by 72 percent to avoid conflicts with ocean users and minimize environmental impacts. BOEM will continue to engage with stakeholders as the process unfolds.
The Biden-Harris administration approved the nation’s first two commercial-scale offshore wind projects in federal waters: the 800-megawatt Vineyard Wind project (approved on May 11, 2021) and the 130-megawatt South Fork Wind project (approved on Nov. 24, 2021). BOEM expects to review at least 16 plans to construct and operate commercial offshore wind energy facilities by 2025, which would represent more than 22 GW of clean energy for the nation.
In addition, this past fall Haaland announced a new leasing path forward, which identified up to seven potential lease sales by 2025, including the New York Bight and offshore the Carolinas and California later this year, to be followed by lease sales for the Central Atlantic, Gulf of Maine, the Gulf of Mexico, and offshore Oregon.
– U.S. Department of the Interior