Dept. of the Interior ready to launch wind energy auction off Oregon coast

WASHINGTON D.C. – The Department of the Interior Wednesday announced it’s proposals to auction off lease sales for offshore wind energy farms. One area is off the Oregon coast while the other is in the Gulf of Maine.

According to the announcement, the two sales collectively have the potential to generate enough energy to power more than six million homes. This is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s pledge to expand offshore wind opportunities, develop a clean energy economy, create good-paying jobs for American workers, and make communities more resilient.

Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland says the announcement represents another step in the commitment to building a greener energy future. She says the department has approved the first eight commercial-scale offshore wind energy projects in the U.S. since the beginning of the administration.

“We’re taking decisive action to catalyze America’s offshore wind industry and leverage American innovation to provide reliable, affordable power to homes and businesses, all while addressing the climate crisis,” Haaland said.

The announcement comes just a month after dozens of coastal organizations and Tribal bodies sent letters to Governor Tina Kotek’s office urging her to delay the lease auction for the offshore wind energy project.

The Department of the Interior says the planning process for these wind energy areas has included communication with local communities, Tribes, federal and state agencies, ocean users and stakeholders.

In identifying the proposed location for the two offshore wind farms near Brookings and Coos Bay, BOEM has worked to avoid offshore fishing grounds and vessel transit routes. The two sites will total around 195,000 acres with the potential to power one million homes.

BOEM also released a draft version of an environment review, detailing potential impacts the offshore wind farm could have, for members of the public to comment on.

The draft environmental review is open for comment and can be found on the BOEM’s Oregon webpage.

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