The US announces 4-8 GW of new offshore wind areas in the Atlantic

The US government today designated three new offshore wind areas in the Central Atlantic that could potentially host 4 to 8 gigawatts (GW) of clean energy production.

More US offshore wind in the Atlantic

The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) three new Wind Energy Areas (WEAs) are off the coasts of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia.

The WEAs together total about 356,550 acres:

  • The first WEA (A-2) is 101,767 acres and is located 26 nautical miles (30 miles) from Delaware Bay.
  • The second WEA (B-1) is 78,285 acres and about 23.5 nautical miles (27 miles) off the coast of Ocean City, Maryland.
  • The third WEA (C-1) is 176,506 acres and located about 35 nautical miles (40 miles) from the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia:

BOEM says the three WEAs were developed following “extensive engagement and feedback from states, Tribes, local residents, ocean users, federal government partners, and other members of the public.” It says it may identify additional WEAs in deep-water areas off the US Central Atlantic coast for future leasing once further study of the areas is complete.

Electrek’s Take

The Biden administration’s goal of achieving 30 GW of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030 is extremely ambitious – and it’s also vital, as the US, the world’s No 2 CO2 emitter behind China – needs to fulfill its commitment to the Paris Agreement to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5C.

So it’s no wonder that the BOEM has been moving to rapidly advance the fledgling US offshore wind industry.

In May 2022, an offshore wind lease auction off the Carolinas was successfully completed. In October 2022, it announced the first-ever floating offshore wind energy lease sale off central and northern California, which was held in December.

And just 11 days ago, the US Department of the Interior announced that it’s going to hold the first-ever offshore wind energy lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico.

This pivotal and monumental shift to renewables in the US energy sector is not only crucial, it’s also an exciting and historical thing to witness.

Read more: New Jersey’s first offshore wind farm hits a milestone – and one county is fighting all of it

Photo: Vineyard Wind 1

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