The U.S. is holding on Tuesday the first offshore wind auction on the West Coast by offering development rights in waters off California as part of the Biden Administration’s push for jumpstarting offshore wind generation in the United States.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has determined that 43 companies are eligible to participate in the lease sale. The bidders include offshore wind units of BP, Shell, RWE, Orsted, and EDF, among others.
The areas in this lease sale are the Humboldt Wind Energy Areas (WEA) and Morro Bay WEA.
BOEM will offer five California OCS lease areas that total approximately 373,268 acres with the potential to produce over 4.5 GW of offshore wind energy, power more than 1.5 million homes, and support thousands of new jobs.
Announcing the date of the sale in October, the U.S. Department of the Interior said that “This will be the first-ever offshore wind lease sale on America’s west coast and the first-ever U.S. sale to support potential commercial-scale floating offshore wind energy development.”
The Biden Administration also sees the lease sale as a critical milestone in achieving the target to deploy 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind energy by 2030 and 15 GW of floating offshore wind energy by 2035.
“Today, we are taking another step toward unlocking the immense offshore wind energy potential off our nation’s west coast to help combat the effects of climate change while lowering costs for American families and creating good-paying union jobs,” Secretary Deb Haaland said in October.
In September, the Biden Administration announced new actions to expand offshore wind development and floating offshore wind platforms in the United States, with the goal to deploy 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030, enough to power 10 million homes with clean energy.
The Administration said it would advance lease areas in deep waters in order to deploy 15 GW of floating offshore wind capacity by 2035—building on the President’s existing goal of deploying 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030, which will be largely met using fixed-bottom technology.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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