US govt seeks input on Gulf of Maine wind lease sale

Offshore wind farm. Author: Beverley Goodwin. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic

August 19 (Renewables Now) - The US government on Thursday launched a process to measure the interest in developing utility-scale offshore wind projects within a lease area in the Gulf of Maine.

The specific area covers 13.7 million acres, the Department of Interior (DOI) said. It will use the feedback from a request for interest (RFI) to narrow the area under consideration before launching a planning and leasing process. Stakeholders, industry players and ocean users will be able to express opinions regarding the location and size of the areas they wish to be included or excluded from the future wind lease sale.

Additionally, a request for competitive interest (RCFI) will aim to find out whether competitive interest exists in any area that is the subject of an unsolicited lease request. If no such interests occur, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will allow the state to use 9,700 acres on the Outer Continental Shelf for research purposes through an up-to-12-turbine project with floating turbines totalling 144 MW. The overall RFCI area spans 68,320 acres.

The US government is pursuing the goal of deploying 30 GW of offshore wind by the end of the decade. To support the plan, the government will hold up to five offshore wind lease sales. Apart from the Gulf of Maine, the 2021-2025 leasing strategy includes lease sales in New York Bight, Central Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and off the coasts of the Carolinas, California and Oregon.

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Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.

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