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January 13, 2022

US BOEM to hold auction for offshore wind development area

The auction will allow offshore wind developers to bid on six lease areas.

The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is to hold a wind power auction for a 480,000-acre area offshore from New York and New Jersey on 23 February.

The auction was announced by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and will be the first of its kind held under the Biden-Harris administration.

Known as the New York Bight, the area leased out by BOEM will have the potential to host up to 7GW of offshore energy capacity, enough to power two million homes.

As outlined in BOEM’s Final Sale Notice, the auction will allow offshore wind developers to bid on six lease areas, the largest number ever offered in a single wind auction in the country.

Haaland said: “The Biden-Harris administration has made tackling the climate crisis a centrepiece of our agenda, and offshore wind opportunities like the New York Bight present a once-in-a-generation opportunity to fight climate change and create good-paying union jobs in the US.

“We are at an inflection point for domestic offshore wind energy development. We must seize this moment – and we must do it together.”

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The auction will include lease stipulations to develop local supply chains for offshore wind while improving engagement with the commercial fishing industry and other ocean users.

The stipulations are designed to support flexibility in transmission planning and make use of project labour agreements during the construction of offshore wind projects.

Companies will also be required to enter project labour agreements to ensure the projects are union-built.

These conditions are intended to promote offshore wind development while protecting the ocean environment.

Last March, the Biden-Harris administration set a national target to install 30GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030 to reduce the US’ carbon emissions by 78 million metric tonnes.

The target is expected to support around 77,000 jobs and ensure power for ten million homes across the country.

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