As part of the Biden Administration’s offshore wind energy goals, the Bureau of Offshore Energy Management (BOEM) today finalized Wind Energy Areas (WEAs) in the Central Atlantic. This process brought together many different stakeholders to thoroughly review areas most suitable for offshore wind development. The American Clean Power Association (ACP) applauds this process as it is a critical step in developing offshore wind as our industry aims to meet ambitious 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. Maximizing 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,” said Josh Kaplowitz, Vice President, Offshore Wind. “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 U.S. 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.”
The WEAs announced today are estimated to support about 6.3 GW of offshore wind energy generation. ACP’s current analysis, 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.