UK Leasing

Department of the Interior assesses interest in wind power from Gulf of Mexico Massachusetts Martha’s Vineyard Gulf of Mexico Atlantic New Orleans

The administration of President Joe Biden wants to know if offshore wind companies want to locate in the Gulf of Mexico.

The agency overseeing the offshore leases will publish a request for interest in the Federal Register on Friday for areas off Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi and Alabama, the Interior Department said on Tuesday.

These areas lie largely in shallower waters where many wells have been dug rather than in the deep waters where the Gulf offshore oil and gas industry is now concentrated.

Biden said he wanted enough wind power for more than 10 million homes in the country by 2030.

Offshore wind development has the potential to create tens of thousands of well-paying union jobs across the country, Home Secretary Deb Haaland says

Her agency’s request for interest from developers “is an important first step in seeing what role the Gulf can play in this exciting frontier,” she said.

“The Gulf of Mexico is extremely well positioned for the exploration of new offshore technologies and energy opportunities,” said Erik Milito, president of the National Ocean Industries Association, which includes companies that build wind and oil and gas facilities. offshore.

“Whether we are talking about offshore wind or other renewables such as hydrogen, the expansion of the Gulf of Mexico’s energy portfolio will depend on a robust offshore oil and gas industry,” he said in a statement. press release sent by email.

Offshore oil and gas companies are building wind farms in the Atlantic, Milito said. He said he expects the government’s proposal to generate interest, but companies will need time to study and understand the market.

While the focus is on wind power, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is also researching information on other renewable energy technologies, the Home Office said.

As part of the Biden administration’s campaign for renewable energy, the Department of Energy has $ 3 billion in loan guarantees available to support offshore wind. He also pledged $ 500 million to improve the ports from which the huge turbines would be transported out to sea.

California and the U.S. government last month announced an agreement to open areas off the coast of that state to the first commercial wind farms on the Pacific coast, using floating turbines.

And in March, the Home Office released a four-volume environmental impact statement for a massive wind farm proposed off Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. This was a crucial step towards a decision on whether or not to approve what would be the country’s first commercial-scale offshore wind energy development.

Friday’s post will begin a 45-day public comment period on developer interest, potential environmental consequences and other uses of the proposed area. These will be taken into account when deciding the next steps in leasing renewable energy in the Gulf of Mexico, the statement said.

Milito said: “Our members are already looking to diversify their energy portfolio in the Gulf of Mexico, through means such as hydrogen production and carbon capture and storage, and there is already a natural fit with the projects. wind turbines.

The government has leased about 1.7 million acres on the outer continental shelf for offshore wind development and has 17 commercial leases on the Atlantic, from Cape Cod to Cape Hatteras, the Home Office said.

An intergovernmental Gulf of Mexico renewable energy task force, made up of federal, tribal, state and local governments from all four states, will hold its first meeting on June 15. The group will help coordinate planning, solicit feedback and exchange scientific and process information, officials said.


Associated Press reporter Matthew Daly contributed to this article from Washington, DC

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