US BOEM about to launch Gulf of Mexico offshore wind auction
Gulf of Mexico. Author: John Kim.
The US government is getting ready to kick off its first-ever offshore wind lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday.
As announced by the Department of the Interior (DoI) last month, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will offer three areas totalling close to 302,000 acres (122,215 ha) on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) in an online auction held in a series of rounds. The three areas are: OCS-G 37334 of 102,480 acres offshore Lake Charles, Louisiana, as well as OCS-G 37335 of 102,480 acres and OCS-G 37336 of 96,786 acres offshore Galveston, Texas.
According to the initial announcement, they have the potential to accommodate about 3.7 GW of capacity and power almost 1.3 million homes.
The launch is scheduled for 0800 am CST/0900 am EST.
The list of eligible bidders, as mentioned in BOEM’s Final Sale Notice (FSN), includes the following names: 547 Energy LLC, Avangrid Renewables LLC, Coastal Offshore Renewable Energy LLC, energyRe Offshore Wind Holdings LLC, Equinor Wind US LLC, Gulf Coast Offshore Wind LLC, Gulf Wind Offshore LLC, Hanwha Offshore North America LLC, Hanwha Q Cells USA Corp, Hecate Energy LLC, Invenergy GOM Offshore Wind LLC, RWE Offshore US Gulf LLC, Shell New Energies US LLC, TotalEnergies Renewables USA LLC, US Mainstream Renewable Power Inc.
A day before the launch, the Business Network for Offshore Wind released a report addressing the Gulf of Mexico’s potential for offshore wind development. John Begala, vice president for federal and state policy at the non-profit organisation, pointed out that the region has decades of offshore energy experience to rely on.
“Yes, the region has hurdles to overcome, including the creation of a regulatory framework for power offtake and the need to maximize generation in a lower wind speed environment. However, as has been the case for more than 70 years, the creative solutions developed here will impact the global offshore wind market,” Begala stated.