United States

United States

US to launch gigawatt-scale offshore wind lease auction for New York Bight

Six leases off the coast of New York and New Jersey capable of supporting up to 7GW to be auctioned in February

Construction of the US's first offshore wind farm, Block Island, off the coast of Rhode Island (pic credit: Deepwater Wind)
Construction of the US's first offshore wind farm, Block Island, off the coast of Rhode Island (pic credit: Deepwater Wind)

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US government agency the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will hold a lease auction for offshore wind sites in the New York Bight off New Jersey and New York next month.

The six east-coast lease areas to be auctioned on 23 February cover more than 1,950km2, and are capable of supporting wind farms with a combined capacity of 5.6-7GW, according to BOEM – enough to power nearly 2 million homes.

The announcement comes just days after the governor of New York announced $500 million for offshore wind development and said the state would begin looking beyond its 9GW goal.

BOEM and the states of New Jersey and New York also plan to work together on developing the supply chain for offshore wind.

Several lease stipulations designed to help develop a robust domestic US supply chain for offshore wind and enhance engagement with native Americans, the commercial fishing industry, other ocean users and underserved communities will be included in the New York Bight offshore wind auction, BOEM stated. The stipulations will also advance flexibility in transmission planning and make use of project labour agreements throughout the construction of the projects.

Such stipulations include incentives to source major components domestically, such as blades, turbines and foundations, and to enter into project labour agreements to ensure projects are union-built, BOEM added.

Liz Burdock, CEO of industry group the Business Network for Offshore Wind, said: “These six new lease areas will draw in new investors and developers to the US market and foster the competition that will catalyse major supply chain development regionally and nationally. 

“Sustaining this momentum is critical to the federal government to support the new but quickly growing US offshore wind manufacturing base and supply chain.”

The US is targeting 30GW of offshore wind power capacity by 2030. Since entering office, the Biden administration has announced key permitting approvals for several offshore wind farms and begun environmental surveys for new offshore sites.

BOEM has also started the environmental assessment for the Gulf of Mexico, ahead of leasing sites for offshore wind between the Texas-Mexico border. It plans to consider the environmental impacts of site surveys for offshore wind farms there.

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