Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Plans Leasing to Offshore Wind
According to the Houston Chronicle, federal officials say they are considering leasing more than half a million acres of Gulf of Mexico waters for energy projects, including two proposed “wind energy areas” near:
Galveston – 24 miles off the coast
• Covers 546,645 acres (larger than the city of Houston)
• Could produce enough electricity to power about 2.3 million homes
Lake Charles, Louisiana – 64 miles off the coast
• Covers 188,023 acres
• Could produce power for 799,000 homes
“The Gulf of Mexico has a head start”
According to the Houston Chronicle, Josh Kaplowitz, vice president of offshore wind for the American Clean Power Association, said wind turbine technology is getting better. They’re getting larger, and as they get larger they can be built in a more economical way at lower wind speeds.
The Houston Chronicle reports that the bureau said state officials and wind developers would determine if electricity generated in the areas’ boundaries would flow to the Texas power grid or the neighboring East Coast grid system.
According to the Houston Chronicle, the announcement is part of a Biden administration initiative to help develop 30,000 megawatts of offshore wind generation by 2030, a jaw-dropping increase from the 42 megawatts of electricity produced by the only two offshore wind farms in operation nationwide. Those projects, off the coasts of Virginia and Rhode Island, are in state waters; there are no projects in federal waters.