Distributed Energy Resources

Biden Administration To Hold Its First Offshore Wind Lease Sale Next Month

Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland on Jan. 12 announced that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will hold a wind energy auction in February for more than 480,000 acres offshore New York and New Jersey, in the area known as the New York Bight.

This will be the first offshore wind lease sale under the Biden-Harris administration.

The Feb. 23 auction will allow offshore wind developers to bid on six lease areas -- the most areas ever offered in a single auction -- as described in BOEM’s Final Sale Notice. Leases offered in this sale could result in 5.6 to 7 gigawatts of offshore wind energy.

The White House’s goal to install 30 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030 is complemented by state offshore wind policies and actions throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, Interior noted in a news release.

Collectively, New York and New Jersey have set the nation’s largest regional offshore wind target of installing over 16 GW of offshore wind by 2035.

According to Interior, the New York Bight offshore wind auction will include several innovative lease stipulations designed to promote the development of a robust domestic U.S. supply chain for offshore wind and enhance engagement with Tribes, the commercial fishing industry, other ocean users, and underserved communities. The stipulations will also advance flexibility in transmission planning.

The Sale Notice also requires lessees to identify Tribes, underserved communities and other ocean users who could be affected by offshore wind development.

More information about the auction, lease stipulations, list of qualified bidders for the auction and Interior’s collaboration with New York and New Jersey can be found on BOEM’s website.