Bureau of Ocean Energy Management designates two wind energy areas in Gulf of Mexico
The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has finalised two wind energy areas (WEAs) in the Gulf of Mexico, with the potential to produce enough clean wind energy to power nearly three million homes.
The first WEA is located approximately 24 nautical miles off the coast of Galveston, Texas. The area totals 508,265 acres (205,687 hectares) and has the potential to power 2.1 million homes.
The second WEA is located approximately 56 nautical miles off the coast of Lake Charles, Louisiana. The area totals 174,275 acres (70,526 hectares) and has the potential to power over 740,000 homes.
In July 2022, the Department of the Interior announced that the BOEM was seeking input on two draft WEAs during a 30-day public comment period. Due to feedback received during a Gulf of Mexico Renewable Energy Task Force meeting, BOEM extended the comment period to 45 days, which closed on September 2, 2022.
The BOEM received 107 comments, which helped inform the final WEAs.
The BOEM slightly reduced the size of the WEAs from their draft versions to address concerns expressed by the Department of Defense and the US Coast Guard regarding shipping, marine navigation, and military operations.
The next steps in the BOEM’s renewable energy competitive leasing process include issuing a Proposed Sale Notice with a 60-day public comment period later this year or early next year.