Interior Department Proposes Second Offshore Wind Sale in Gulf of Mexico

The department says the four areas, totaling 410,000 acres, have the potential to power 1.2 million homes.

The four proposed wind lease areas offshore Louisiana and Texas total 410,060 acres.
Source: BOEM

The Department of the Interior has announced a proposal for a second offshore wind energy auction in the Gulf of Mexico. The proposed lease sale includes four areas offshore Louisiana and Texas totaling 410,060 acres, which the department says have the potential to power 1.2 million homes.

“Today’s announcement is another step forward in the Biden/Harris administration’s pursuit of building a clean energy future and permitting 30 GW of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030,” said Interior Secretary Deb Haaland. “We are taking action to jumpstart America’s offshore wind industry and using American innovation to deliver reliable, affordable power to homes and businesses, while also addressing the climate crisis."

Since the beginning of the Biden/Harris administration, Interior has approved the nation’s first six commercial scale offshore wind projects, held three offshore wind lease auctions—including offshore New York and offshore in the Pacific and Gulf Coasts—initiated environmental review of 12 offshore wind projects, and advanced the process to access and establish additional Wind Energy Areas in Oregon, the Gulf of Maine, and the Central Atlantic.

With the recent proposed sale, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is seeking feedback on various aspects of the proposed lease areas, including size, orientation, and location of the four lease areas and which areas, if any, should be prioritized for inclusion or exclusion from this lease sale. BOEM is also seeking comment on potential lease revisions to include the production of hydrogen or other energy products using wind turbine generators on the lease.

“BOEM is proud to play a leading role in the administration’s clean energy efforts,” said BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein. “We look forward to receiving feedback from Tribes, other government agencies, ocean users, local communities, and others to minimize any impacts to natural and cultural resources, reduce potential conflicts with ocean uses, and maintain a healthy marine ecosystem.”

BOEM is proposing to conduct simultaneous auctions for each of the four lease areas using multiple-factor bidding. BOEM will use new auction software for enhanced efficiency, with minor adjustments to auction rules used in previous offshore wind lease auctions.