The US Department of the Interior said yesterday that it will explore offshore wind energy potential on the Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). It’s part of the Biden administration’s goal to deploy 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind by 2030, which was announced at the end of March.
The Department of the Interior details its next steps:
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will publish a Request for Interest (RFI) in the Federal Register on Friday, June 11 to assess interest in potential offshore wind development in the OCS. The RFI will be focused on the Western and Central Planning Areas of the Gulf of Mexico offshore the states of Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, and Alabama. Although the primary focus of the RFI is on wind energy development, BOEM is also seeking information on other renewable energy technologies.
Once published the RFI will open a 45-day public comment period to solicit indications of competitive interest and additional information on potential environmental consequences and other uses of the proposed area. BOEM will consider data received in response to this RFI to determine next steps in the renewable energy leasing process in the Gulf of Mexico.
The BOEM will hold its first task force meeting on June 15, which consists of federal, tribal, state, and local government representatives from Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, and Alabama.
Mike Celata, regional director of BOEM’s Gulf of Mexico office in New Orleans, said:
The Gulf of Mexico has decades of offshore energy development expertise. Today’s announcement represents the first step in harnessing that expertise and applying it to the renewable energy sector.
Working directly with our partners in the Gulf, we will make sure that offshore renewable energy development proceeds in an orderly, safe, and environmentally responsible manner.
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