BOEM finalises Wind Energy Areas in Central Atlantic

As part of the Biden Administration’s offshore wind energy goals, the Bureau of Offshore Energy Management (BOEM) has finalised Wind Energy Areas (WEAs) in the Central Atlantic, bringing together many different stakeholders to review areas most suitable for offshore wind development.
BOEM finalises Wind Energy Areas in Central Atlantic
Courtesy of NREL.

The WEAs announced are estimated to support about 6.3 GW of offshore wind energy generation. Analysis by the American Clean Power Association (ACP), including existing projects, shows that this is not enough capacity to meet Virginia and Maryland’s combined 13.2 GW offshore wind goals. In addition, states like New Jersey, Delaware, and North Carolina may lose the ability to contract for projects in these areas to meet their respective clean energy goals. For this reason, the ACP has applauded the WEA process, as it is a critical step in developing offshore wind as the industry aims to meet ambitious US national and state directives. 

“The Central Atlantic is one of the most desirable regions for offshore wind development, particularly in terms of wind resource, energy demand, and technical viability” said Josh Kaplowitz, Vice President, Offshore Wind at ACP. “Maximising leasing in the Central Atlantic is critical to meeting current and anticipated federal and state offshore wind goals and building a durable regional supply chain. This a challenging and iterative process, and we appreciate the leadership from BOEM, the Department of Defense (DoD), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the US Coast Guard (USCG), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to reach this point. 

As the demand for clean electricity grows on the East Coast, leasing must keep pace. These WEAs are excellent areas for offshore development that could serve the population centers in this region. We look forward to working closely with all key federal agencies before BOEM issues its Proposed Sale Notice (PSN) to ensure the robust leasing necessary in this region is available to help build a supply chain that meets expanding state targets. In particular, we are hopeful the offshore wind industry can work with DoD and NASA to address their remaining concerns within WEA B-1. We also believe there is room for WEA A-2 to be significantly expanded. Additionally, ACP supports a second round of leasing in the Central Atlantic within a year of this upcoming sale focused on both shallow water and deep water areas.”

For additional information:

Bureau of Offshore Energy Management (BOEM)

American Clean Power Association (ACP)  

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