US unveils large Gulf of Maine area for floating offshore wind

The Bureau of Offshore Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has unveiled a draft wind energy area (WEA) in the Gulf of Maine, and it avoids an area important for lobsters and also restricted areas for the north Atlantic right whale. 

The draft WEA covers approximately 14,241km2 off Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, ranging from approximately 37-193 km off the coast.

BOEM believes the area could host more than 40GW of offshore wind capacity, which is higher than the current combined goals for Gulf of Maine states: 10GW for Massachusetts and 3GW for Maine. 

The proposed WEA avoids lobster management area 1 and all north Atlantic right whale-restricted areas.

Its deep waters would necessitate the use of floating platforms to support wind farms’ turbines, BOEM added. 

A 30-day public review and comment period now starts. 

“BOEM strives to minimise potential impacts and will continue working hard to finalise offshore areas that have strong resource potential and the fewest environmental and user conflicts,” said BOEM’s director, Elizabeth Klein.