Federal Government Auctions Largest Area Ever for Offshore Wind Development

The Federal government was scheduled to auction 742,000 acres (over 1,160 square miles) of ocean south of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts on January 29 for offshore wind development. It is the largest area ever auctioned for U.S. offshore wind development. There is yet to be an operational offshore wind turbine in the U.S. Across the Atlantic, though, offshore wind development is booming, with 224 turbines in 16 wind farms connected off the shores of Europe in just the first 6 months of 2014. According to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the Massachusetts Wind Energy Area “sale will triple the amount of federal offshore acreage available for commercial-scale wind energy projects.” Twelve companies have qualified to bid on the leases. Four separate leases are being offered in the auction. If fully developed, the Massachusetts Wind Energy Area could support up to five gigawatts of wind energy generation, enough to power 1.5 million homes. For more information on wind energy development, contact Steve O’Day.

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