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The U.S. Holds First-Ever Offshore Wind Lease Sale In Gulf Of Mexico

The U.S. Department of the Interior is holding on Tuesday the first-ever offshore wind lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico, the key federal oil and gas production hub.  

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is holding the offshore wind energy lease sale for three areas on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) off Louisiana and Texas. The online auction will be held in a series of rounds and will allow qualified offshore wind developers to bid on three lease areas, the first-ever offered in the Gulf of Mexico. The provisional winners for each of the lease areas will be announced shortly after the auction ends, BOEM said.

The sale will include one lease area of 102,480 acres offshore Lake Charles, Louisiana, and two lease areas totaling nearly 200,000 acres offshore Galveston, Texas.

The areas included in the sale have the potential to generate around 3.7 gigawatts (GW) and power almost 1.3 million homes with clean, renewable energy, the Department of the Interior said in the lease sale notice last month.

The Gulf of Mexico offshore wind lease sale comes after similar lease sales in the New York Bight, Carolina Long Bay, and northern and central California.

Last month, BOEM approved a large-scale offshore wind power project that it says would power more than 380,000 homes and “create more than 3,000 good-paying jobs.” The Ocean Wind 1 project, to be located off the coast of New Jersey, will have a capacity of 1.1 GW. 

The Biden Administration targets to build 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030. The Administration said in February this year that offshore wind rights in the Gulf of Mexico—the stronghold of the U.S. oil and gas production and export facilities – would contribute to the U.S. goals of deploying 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030, as well as 15 GW specifically of floating offshore wind by 2035.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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