US maps out 8.3GW offshore wind in Gulf of Mexico

The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has identified the final offshore wind energy areas in the oil-rich Gulf of Mexico: one site off Texas, and the other off Louisiana.

It plans to hold a public consultation on the two zones – a 2056km2 site 44km off Galveston Texas, and a 705km2 site 103km off Lake Charles, Louisiana – either later this year or early next year ahead of a lease auction.

The sites could support about 6.1GW and 2.1GW of offshore wind capacity – based on a 3MW/km2 calculation – BOEM stated.

The government body had slightly reduced the size of the zones due to concerns regarding shipping, marine navigation and military operations. When BOEM first proposed wind energy areas for the Gulf of Mexico, it had earmarked 2,973km2 across the two sites – slightly more than the combined 2,761km2 it plans to offer now.

President Biden’s administration has approved the US’s first large-scale offshore wind farms, and held lease sales in an effort to boost US offshore wind capacity from 42MW currently to 30GW by 2030.