USA - Move over, oil – wind energy is officially coming to the Gulf of Mexico
The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) today announced it has finalized two Wind Energy Areas in the Gulf of Mexico that will have the potential to produce enough clean energy to power nearly 3 million homes.
Wind energy is coming to the Gulf of Mexico
The first area is located approximately 24 nautical miles off the coast of Galveston, Texas. This area totals 508,265 acres and has the potential to power 2.1 million homes.
The second area is located approximately 56 nautical miles off the coast of Lake Charles, Louisiana. It totals 174,275 acres and has the potential to power over 740,000 homes.
BOEM slightly reduced the size of the two areas from their draft versions to address concerns expressed by the Department of Defense and the US Coast Guard regarding shipping, marine navigation, and military operations.
The Biden administration announced in July that it would pursue the development of offshore wind energy in the Gulf, which is already a hub for oil and gas production.
Ocean conservation nonprofit Oceana‘s campaign director Diane Hoskins said:
It’s great to see offshore wind development advancing in the Gulf of Mexico. Unlike dirty and dangerous offshore drilling that pollutes our waters and harms frontline communities in the Gulf, offshore wind can support a just and equitable transition away from the fossil fuels that are driving the climate crisis.
This announcement lays the groundwork for responsible offshore wind development in the Gulf of Mexico, which will help lower energy costs, create jobs, and fight climate change.
Next steps in BOEM’s renewable energy competitive leasing process include issuing a Proposed Sale Notice with a 60-day public comment period later this year or early in 2023.