US to Auction Areas in Central Atlantic Region for Offshore Wind Energy

The auction has the potential to generate 6.3 GW of energy


The U.S. has announced plans for an offshore wind energy lease sale in the Central Atlantic region in a push for clean energy development along America’s coasts.

The auction, scheduled for August 14, 2024, could generate up to 6.3 GW of renewable energy, according to the Department of the Interior. This is enough to power approximately 2.2 million homes.

The lease sale will offer two areas: one offshore Delaware and Maryland and another offshore Virginia. The Delaware/Maryland area covers 101,443 acres and is located about 26 nautical miles from Delaware Bay. The Virginia area encompasses 176,505 acres and sits roughly 35 nautical miles from the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) finalized these areas last year. It was said at the time that these areas potentially support 4 GW to 8 GW in energy generation when fully developed.

Since 2020, the U.S. has approved eight large-scale wind projects in federal waters and held four lease sales in various coastal areas, including the first-ever sales on the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico coasts. The Department of the Interior plans to hold up to 12 more lease sales by 2028.

The auction includes bidding credits for companies that commit to investing in workforce training programs or developing domestic supply chains for the offshore wind industry. Additionally, stipulations encourage project labor agreements and require regular communication with Tribes, agencies, and fisheries.

Seventeen companies have qualified to participate in the August sale.

Last year, the U.S. Department of Energy released its Offshore Wind Energy Strategy, which targets deploying 30 GW of offshore wind projects by 2030 while spurring $12 billion per year in direct private investment.

The strategy aims to lower costs from $73/MWh to $51/MWh by 2030, develop a domestic supply chain, and inform sustainable, just deployment of fixed-bottom offshore wind.


Get the most relevant India solar and clean energy news.