Department of the Interior proposes second offshore wind auction in Gulf of Mexico

March 21, 2024

(WO) — The Department of the Interior announced its proposal for a second offshore wind energy auction in the Gulf of Mexico. The proposed lease sale includes four areas offshore Louisiana and Texas, totaling 410,060 acres, which the department claims has the potential to power 1.2 million homes.  

With the proposed sale, BOEM is seeking feedback on various aspects of the proposed lease areas, including size, orientation, and location of the four lease areas and which areas, if any, should be prioritized for inclusion or exclusion from this lease sale.

 BOEM is also seeking comment on potential lease revisions to include the production of hydrogen or other energy products using wind turbine generators on the lease.

BOEM is considering lease stipulations to ensure that communities, particularly those which are historically underserved, are considered and engaged early and often throughout the offshore wind energy development process. Proposed bidding credits include funding for fisheries compensatory mitigation and workforce development.

BOEM is proposing to conduct simultaneous auctions for each of the four lease areas using multiple-factor bidding. BOEM will use new auction software for enhanced efficiency, with minor adjustments to auction rules used in previous offshore wind lease auctions. 

The Proposed Sale Notice will publish in the Federal Register March 21, 2024, initiating a 60-day public comment period ending on May 20, 2024. If BOEM decides to proceed with the auction, the next step would be publication of a Final Sale Notice.   

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