Biden administration announces dozens of auctions for offshore wind

Biden administration announces dozens of auctions for offshore wind
Biden administration announces dozens of auctions for offshore wind

President Joe Biden’s administration unveiled plans to hold up to a dozen auctions for offshore wind development rights through 2028, including four before the end of the year.

A schedule that provides predictability

The Department of the Interior reported that this schedule will help companies, states and others plan projects that require large amounts of investment and infrastructure.

Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland said, “Our offshore wind leasing schedule will provide predictability to help developers and communities plan for the future, and provide the confidence needed to continue building on the tremendous energy supply chain.” offshore wind and the investments in manufacturing that we have already seen.

Support for the nascent offshore wind energy industry

The administration is determined to support the nascent U.S. offshore wind industry at a time when projects have been hit by rising costs tied to inflation, interest rates and supply chain constraints.

Just this week, New York state halted three major planned offshore wind farm projects.

Auction planning

According to the Interior Department’s schedule, lease sales will be held this year for areas in the Mid-Atlantic, Gulf of Maine, Gulf of Mexico and Oregon.

In 2025, a single sale will take place in the Gulf of Mexico. In 2026, an auction will take place in the mid-Atlantic region. In 2027, two sales are scheduled: the Gulf of Mexico and the New York Bight. In 2028, Interior aims to hold four auctions in California, an undetermined U.S. territory, the Gulf of Maine and Hawaii.

Relationship to oil and gas extraction

The timing of the sales is related to the administration’s five-year plan to offer land to oil and gas companies for offshore development. Under a provision of the Biden Inflation Reduction Act on climate change, the Interior Department must offer at least 60 million acres for oil and gas leasing a year before issuing an offshore wind lease.

The last oil and gas auction was held in December last year and there won’t be another until 2025, according to the scaled-down five-year drilling plan finalized last year.

Few offshore wind auctions

Since Biden took office in 2021, the Interior Department has held just four offshore wind auctions. The latest, in the Gulf of Mexico last August, attracted limited industry interest.

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