U.S. Announces Lease Sales for Massive Offshore Wind Expansion

The U.S. Interior Department plans to hold up to seven lease sales for offshore wind as part of efforts to boost the country’s wind power capacity to 30 GW by 2030.

“The Interior Department is laying out an ambitious roadmap as we advance the Administration’s plans to confront climate change, create good-paying jobs, and accelerate the nation’s transition to a cleaner energy future,” said Interior Secretary Deb Haaland.

“This timetable provides two crucial ingredients for success: increased certainty and transparency. Together, we will meet our clean energy goals while addressing the needs of other ocean users and potentially impacted communities. We have big goals to achieve a clean energy economy and Interior is meeting the moment.”

According to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the 30-GW offshore wind power capacity target would create almost 80,000 jobs. The areas to be covered by the planned leases include the Gulf of Maine, the New York Bight, the Central Atlantic, and the Gulf of Mexico, as well as offshore the Carolinas, California, and Oregon.

Currently, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is also looking for more Wind Energy Areas, or areas with favorable conditions for offshore wind farms.

“We are working to facilitate a pipeline of projects that will establish confidence for the offshore wind industry,” BOEM Director Amanda Lefton said in an Interior Department news release.

“At the same time, we want to reduce potential conflicts as much as we can while meeting the Administration’s goal to deploy 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030. This means we will engage early and often with all stakeholders prior to identifying any new Wind Energy Areas.”

A recent study suggested that the U.S. offshore wind power supply chain could become a market worth $109 billion over the next decade. This was a substantial upward revision of earlier expectations for $70 billion, estimated two years ago.

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