Biden administration announces plans for massive expansion of wind farms off US coasts

The Biden administration is planning to aggressively expand offshore wind energy capacity in the United States, potentially holding as many as seven new offshore lease sales by 2025.

The move was announced Wednesday by US Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and first reported by The New York Times.

Haaland said the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is exploring leasing sales along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, in the Gulf of Maine, the New York Bight, the central Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, as well as off the Carolinas, California and Oregon.

“The Interior Department is laying out an ambitious roadmap as we advance the Administration’s plans to confront climate change, create good-paying jobs, and accelerate the nation’s transition to a cleaner energy future,” Haaland said in a statement. “We have big goals to achieve a clean energy economy and Interior is meeting the moment.”

The administration in March announced a coordinated effort to bolster offshore wind energy projects in the United States in order to jump-start a “clean energy revolution.”

As part of that initiative, which spans multiple government agencies, the Departments of the Interior, Energy and Commerce committed to a shared goal of generating 30 gigawatts of offshore wind in the US by 2030. The Interior Department estimates that reaching that goal would create nearly 80,000 jobs.

The Interior Department has already started lease sales for some of the areas Haaland mentioned on Wednesday.

The administration in June announced a competitive lease sale for offshore wind in the New York Bight — an area of shallow water between New York and New Jersey — that it estimated could generate 7 gigawatts of energy, enough to power more than 2.6 million homes.

In May, the administration approved the 800-megawatt Vineyard Wind project, located 12 nautical miles off the shore of Martha’s Vineyard. Later that month, it announced the California coastline would be opened to wind power for the first time.

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