In an effort to meet the United States' clean energy goals, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced on Oct. 18, 2022, that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will hold the country's first-ever offshore wind energy lease sale in the Pacific Ocean. Set to take place on Dec. 6, 2022, BOEM will seek bids for five California Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) lease areas totaling approximately 373,268 acres off the coast of central and northern California. The California Final Sale Notice (FSN) will be published in the Federal Register by Oct. 21, 2022. The FSN will provide additional details about the lease areas, lease terms and conditions, and auction rules. The lease sale has the support of Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and California Gov. Gavin Newsom.
The announcement follows the Biden Administration's publicized goal that was announced on March 25, 2021, to deploy 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind energy by 2030 and 15 GW of floating offshore wind energy by 2035. According to a White House fact sheet, the Biden Administration's goal would power up to 10 million homes and create 77,000 clean energy jobs. The lease sales in California alone are predicted to power 1.5 million homes and create thousands of jobs.
To date, BOEM has held 10 lease sales and issued 27 active commercial wind leases in the Atlantic Ocean.
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