Gulf of Mexico Eyes First Offshore Wind Auction Backed By US

On February 22, the United States proposed the sale of its first offshore wind power development rights in the Gulf of Mexico, thereby expanding the nascent clean energy sector into a major hub when it comes to the production of oil and gas. The planned sale happens to be part of President Joe Biden’s management plan to put in place wind turbines along every coastline in the US as the country looks forward to deploying around 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030.

A proposed sale notice was released by the interior department for an area of 102,480 acres alongside Lake Charles in Louisiana as well as two sites near Texas’ Galveston of 102,480 and 76,786 acres. Put together, the offshore sites that are proposed will go on to power almost 1.3 million homes, as per the Interior Department.

According to the statement made by Deb Haaland, the interior secretary, there is no time to waste when it comes to making bold investments to take care of the climate crisis, and apparently constructing a robust domestic offshore wind sector happens to be the key to taking such a challenge head-on. It is well to be noted that the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico, as well as its proximity to oil and gas infrastructure, make it appealing for the expansion of the new offshore industry, as per the studies conducted by the government.

Apparently, numerous Louisiana companies that were into offshore drilling were asked to help build the country’s first offshore wind farm off the Rhode Island coast. The National Ocean Industries Association, which happens to be a trade group for businesses concerning offshore energy, has gone on to say that offshore wind is going to complement the existing oil and gas industry of the Gulf of Mexico.

According to NOIA president Erik Milito, the energy, investment opportunities, as well as jobs from Gulf of Mexico offshore wind are going to be additive to the worthwhile benefits the offshore oil and gas sector provides to the country.

It is well to be noted that after the department goes on to publish the proposal this month, the public is going to have 60 days to comment on it. If, after this, the department decides to go ahead, there is going to be a final notice that will be published 30 days prior to the sale and also release the sale date as well as the companies that are qualified to make a participation.

The Biden administration happens to have three offshore wind lease auctions, which also include the biggest ever US sale that took place last year off the New Jersey and New York coasts and went on to attract a record $1.5 billion from bidding, incidentally the first ever on California’s Pacific coast.