Biden Administration To Conduct Up To Twelve Offshore Wind Development Rights Auctions

( – Clean energy goals are a staple of the Biden Administration. It’s working to reduce greenhouse emissions and the overall carbon footprint Americans leave behind. To that effect, the administration recently announced that it would be holding auctions for offshore wind development.

At a conference in New Orleans, Interior Secretary Deb Halaand announced a new five-year schedule in which the federal government would lease federal offshore tracts. She said it is aimed to “provide predictability to help developers and communities plan ahead and will provide the confidence needed to continue building” on wind energy.

The sales will take place starting next year, with the Gulf of Mexico first on the list. In 2026, there will be an auction in the Central Atlantic. The following year, it will hold two sales, one in the Gulf of Mexico and one in the New York Bight. Finally, in 2028, it plans to hold four sales, including in the Gulf of Maine, California, Hawaii, and a US territory to be determined.

However, not everyone is on board with the auctions. There are issues with already existing projects, including three in New York alone, that have stalled. Rising costs and constraints in the supply chain are to blame.

The Biden Administration said there is a path forward to reduce costs, which includes making timely investments, refining project and supplier procurement, and fostering regional collaboration for transmission and supply chain planning. There’s also the issue of industry interest, which was lackluster during the last auction held in December 2023.

The administration also plans to hold oil and gas leases, but they will be limited to three auctions, the smallest five-year plan of any president in the past several years. According to a provision in the Inflation Reduction Act, the Interior Department has to offer at least 60 million acres up for oil and gas drilling before it can launch offshore wind leases.

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