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June 9, 2021

US to explore potential for wind power in Gulf of Mexico

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will release an RFI for evaluating interest in potential offshore wind development.

By Umesh Ellichipuram

The US Government has announced its intent to explore offshore wind power potential in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) of the Gulf of Mexico.

The intent to assess the OCS’s potential opportunities to advance clean energy development is part of the government’s aim to create jobs by deploying 30GW of offshore wind by 2030.

This target is intended to power ten million homes across the country while offsetting 78 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.

Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said: “The Interior Department is committed to developing a robust and sustainable clean energy economy.

“We know that offshore wind development has the potential to create tens of thousands of good-paying union jobs across the nation. This is an important first step to see what role the Gulf of Mexico may play in this exciting frontier.”

On 11 June, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will release a request for interest (RFI) in the Federal Register for evaluating interest in potential offshore wind development in the OCS.

The RFI will focus on the Western and Central Planning Areas of the Gulf of Mexico offshore from Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi and Alabama.

In addition to wind energy development, BOEM aims to focus on gathering information on other renewable energy technologies through this RFI.

Once published, the RFI will open a public comment period for 45 days to obtain indications of competitive interest and other uses of the proposed area.

BOEM Director Amanda Lefton said: “The Biden-Harris administration has energised the offshore wind industry by announcing the first ever national offshore wind energy goal, creating a roadmap for the future of this innovative industry.

“I’m excited to see the Gulf of Mexico be a potential part of this historic effort.”

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