Department of the Interior to Explore Offshore Wind Potential in the Gulf of Mexico
Jun 14, 2021
Last week the Department of the Interior announced it will study the potential for offshore windfarms in the Gulf of Mexico to generate clean energy. The announcement falls in line with the Biden Administration’s clean energy agenda, which seeks to generate 30 gigawatts of energy from offshore wind by 2030. The announcement comes just weeks after the Biden Administration approved the $2.8 billion “Vineyard Wind” wind farm off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts—the first major wind farm to be built in federal waters.
Following the announcement, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) published a Request for Interest (RFI) to gage stakeholder interest in potential offshore wind opportunities in the Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). While the RFI focuses on wind energy, BOEM is also interested in learning more about other renewable energy technologies that could help achieve the Administration’s overall clean energy goals, which include achieving a 50-52% reduction in emissions by 2030, attaining 100% clean electricity by 2035, and reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. The RFI will open a 45-day public comment period.
In addition to the RFI, BOEM has established a Gulf of Mexico Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force to coordinate planning, solicit feedback, and exchange and processes scientific and technical information. The Task Force is set to meet for the first time on June 15.
In a news release, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland commented, “The Interior Department is committed to developing a robust and sustainable clean energy economy. We know that offshore wind development has the potential to create tens of thousands of good-paying, union jobs across the nation. This is an important first step to see what role the Gulf may play in this exciting frontier.”
For more information, please see BOEM’s renewable energy page.