Biden Administration Finalizes Two Offshore Wind Areas in Oregon

Biden Administration Finalizes Two Offshore Wind Areas in Oregon

By Mike Schuler

Article courtesy of gCaptain

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has designated two final Wind Energy Areas (WEAs) offshore Oregon, totaling approximately 195,012 acres, for the future development of floating offshore wind farms.

The Coos Bay Wind Energy Area (WEA) spans 61,204 acres and is situated 32 miles offshore, while the Brookings WEA covers 133,808 acres and is approximately 18 miles offshore. If fully developed, the two WEAs could support up to 2.4 GW of energy production. 

This move supports the Biden-Harris administration’s goals of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030 and 15 gigawatts by 2035.

The WEAs were selected to minimize conflicts with ocean users, particularly commercial fishing.

“BOEM values its close coordination with the State of Oregon as we continue to work together to maintain a robust and transparent offshore wind planning process,” said BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein. “We will continue to work closely with Tribal governments, federal and state government agencies, ocean users, coastal communities and all interested stakeholders as we move forward with our environmental review.”

BOEM will publish a notice in February 2024 to prepare an environmental assessment of potential impacts from offshore wind leasing in the WEAs.

The Department of the Interior has approved the first six commercial-scale offshore wind energy projects under the Biden-Harris administration, with four lease auctions bringing in nearly $5.5 billion. The Department is exploring further offshore wind energy development opportunities, including in the Gulf of Maine and the U.S. Central Atlantic coast, and is focusing on union-built projects and a domestic-based supply chain.