Interior Plans First-Ever Offshore Wind Lease Sale on the West Coast

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JThe Biden administration on Tuesday announced plans to hold an offshore wind lease sale off the coast of California, the first such sale to be conducted in the Pacific Ocean.

The Department of the Interior will auction acreage in two separate wind energy areas, one off the central coast and the other off the northern California coast, on Dec. 6. Interior said the development of the approximately 373,268 acres it will offer could generate more than 4.5 gigawatts of offshore wind energy and power more than 1.5 million homes.

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“Today we are taking another step towards unlocking the immense offshore wind energy potential off the west coast of our country to help combat the effects of climate change while reducing costs for families. Americans and creating well-paying union jobs,” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said.

The sale of the lease serves the administration’s goal of establishing 30 gigawatts of offshore wind power by 2030. Of that 30 GW, the administration envisions half to be developed in deep water, which would be supported by floating wind turbines.

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Individual coastal states have also set their own offshore wind targets. California is looking to have 25 GW of floating offshore wind generation in place by 2045, and New Jersey is aiming for 11 GW by 2040.

The Cut Inflation Act, the new green energy and health care spending law Democrats passed in August, was designed to make these projects more economically viable by providing enhanced tax credits to promoters.

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