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The US announces a major offshore wind sale in the Mid-Atlantic

The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) today announced a final notice of sale and auction of over 275,000 acres of offshore wind off the coast of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.

The Central Atlantic Wind Energy Areas have the potential to generate 6.3 gigawatts (GW) of clean energy – enough to power over 2.2 million homes. The final notice of sale is the last step the DOI must take to hold a lease auction for the area, scheduled for August 14. Seventeen companies have qualified to participate in the August auction.

Earlier this month, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) signed a memorandum of understanding with the state of Maryland to engage stakeholders in identifying acreage for additional offshore wind lease auctions in the Atlantic. Additional acreage is critical to meeting the offshore wind goals of Maryland and other Mid-Atlantic states.

Liz Burdock, President and CEO of Oceantic Network, said:

Recognizing the growing demand for offshore wind and the diverse stakeholders, BOEM consistently demonstrates its commitment to working directly with states to ensure their offshore wind goals can be met. These efforts, combined with the three other lease sales scheduled to take place in 2024, will result in more jobs, increased investment, and continued domestic supply chain growth.

During the Biden administration, the DOI approved the U.S.’s first eight commercial offshore wind projects in federal waters. BOEM has completed four offshore wind leases, including off the coast of New York, New Jersey and the Carolinas, as well as the first sales off the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico coasts. The DOI recently announced a schedule for up to 12 more leases by 2028.

And just in case you or someone you know is concerned about the impacts of further offshore wind farm development on wildlife, Amber Hewett, senior director of offshore wind energy at the National Wildlife Federation, had this to say in an email about the sale of the Central Atlantic offshore wind farms:

Investing in the responsible development of clean, renewable energy, including offshore wind, creates high-quality jobs while helping to protect wildlife and communities from the threat of climate change.

The National Wildlife Federation welcomes this important step in the process, and we look forward to working with our partners in the Central Atlantic region to continue to increase offshore wind energy production while pushing for strong wildlife protections and community engagement every step of the way.

Read more: Vineyard Wind 1 is the largest offshore wind farm in the USA

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