The Dept. of the Interior will auction tracts of the Gulf of Mexico for offshore wind leases on Aug. 29. The area has the potential to generate approximately 3.7 GW of power.
“The Gulf of Mexico is poised to play a key role in our nation’s transition to a clean energy future,” said BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein. “Today’s announcement follows years of engagement with government agencies, states, ocean users, and stakeholders in the Gulf of Mexico region. We look forward to continued collaboration in the years to come.”
The Final Sale Notice (FSN), which will publish in the Federal Register on July 21, 2023, includes a 102,480-acre area offshore Lake Charles, Louisiana, and two areas offshore Galveston, Texas, one comprising 102,480 acres and the other 96,786 acres. The FSN provides detailed information about the final lease areas, lease provisions and conditions, and auction details. It also identifies qualified companies who can participate in the lease auction. Details on the FSN, along with a map of the area can be found on BOEM’s website.
Earlier this year, the Department announced the Proposed Sale Notice for offshore wind energy development in the Gulf of Mexico. During the 60-day comment period, BOEM received comments on several lease stipulations that supported BOEM’s commitment to engage with underserved communities, ocean users and other stakeholders. Some of these stipulations, which are part of the FSN, include:
- Bidding credits to bidders who commit to supporting workforce training programs, developing a domestic supply chain for the offshore wind energy industry,
- Bidding credits for establishing and contributing to a fisheries compensatory mitigation fund or contributing to an existing fund to mitigate potential negative impacts to commercial and for-hire recreational fisheries caused by offshore wind energy development in the Gulf of Mexico, and
- Requiring that lessees provide a regular progress report summarizing engagement with Tribes and ocean users potentially affected by proposed offshore wind energy activities.
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