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American Offshore Wind Gets Gulf Of Mexico Green Light

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has given the Gulf of Mexico the environmental green light for offshore wind energy development on the outer continental shelf’s federal territory, paving the way for offshore wind projects across 30 million acres. 

According to the BOEM, there will be no significant environmental impact associated with offshore wind projects in the Gulf of Mexico, based on an environmental assessment that considers biology, archeology, geology and geophysics.

“We will continue to work closely with our task force members, ocean users, and others to ensure that any development in the region is done responsibly and in a way that avoids, reduces, or mitigates potential impacts to ocean users and the marine environment”, said Liz Klein, BOEM Director.

The White House has pledged to reach a target of 30-gigawatts of energy–enough to power 10 million homes–by 2030, through offshore wind development. That pledge saw enormous investment growth in the offshore wind sector last year.  

In May 2021, the BOEM approved an 800-megawatt wind project off the coast of Massachusetts in what was the first large-scale offshore wind project approval. That was followed by approval in November that same year of the 130-megawatt Southfork Wind project off the coast of New York. 

February 2022 saw energy companies commit $4.4 billion for offshore wind leases off the coasts of New and New Jersey.

In the Gulf, last October saw the BOEM unveil two offshore wind energy areas (WEAS) off the coasts of Texas and Louisiana and covering over 680,000 acres. And in February this year, the energy regulator announced proposals for the Gulf of Mexico’s first offshore wind lease sale here, which could potentially generate enough energy from wind to power 1.3 million homes. 

By Alex Kimani for Oilprice.com

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