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Anticipated offshore wind rebound faces first test after Biden admin’s proposal

May 1

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A pair of recently proposed offshore wind sales by the Biden administration hope to revitalize an industry which took some major hits a year ago. The proposals come after a tumultuous period for offshore wind in 2023. It saw millions of dollars in canceled contracts, delayed projects and utility providers trying to hike rates. However, experts across the industry now predict a turnaround for offshore wind developments in 2024.

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To jumpstart further offshore wind development, the Department of the Interior announced two potential lease auctions. One is off the coast of Oregon and the other is in the Gulf of Maine. These sales will encompass over 1 million acres of ocean. They have the combined potential to power over 6 million homes with clean energy.

In conjunction with the proposed development sites for offshore wind, the federal government also unveiled updated regulations surrounding the leasing process. The goal is to enhance certainty and reduce costs associated with offshore wind projects. Therefore, future developers would be less likely to abandon projects.

The offshore lease offering in the Gulf of Maine marks the first of its kind in the region. This comes months after a similar auction took place in the Gulf of Mexico. The Biden administration expressed disappointment after low interest.

That offshore sale saw the purchase of just one of the three zones it offered up for development. The area is now expected to produce less than half the anticipated energy output than if all three sold. The one purchased zone went for the lowest successful bid for a federal offshore wind lease sale since the Obama administration.

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[JACK AYLMER]

IS THE TURBULENCE FACING THE OFFSHORE WIND INDUSTRY FINALLY OVER? 

THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION IS PUSHING TO PUT THESE TYPES OF PROJECTS BACK ON COURSE.

WE’VE TOLD YOU BEFORE ABOUT THE STRUGGLES FACING CONSTRUCTION, ESPECIALLY IN 20-23..

PROJECTS DELAYED.

MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN CANCELED CONTRACTS.

UTILITY PROVIDERS PUSHING FOR RATE INCREASES. 

BUT THIS YEAR, MANY EXPERTS ARE PREDICTING A TURNAROUND.

TO KICKSTART MORE OFFSHORE WIND DEVELOPMENT, THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT IS ANNOUNCING TWO POTENTIAL LEASE AUCTIONS OFF THE COAST OF OREGON AND IN THE GULF OF MAINE.

THE LEASE AREA WOULD COVER OVER A MILLION ACRES OF OCEAN-

WITH THE COMBINED POTENTIAL TO POWER OVER SIX MILLION HOMES ON CLEAN ENERGY.

WITH THIS PROPOSAL, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ALSO REVEALED UPDATED REGULATIONS SURROUNDING THE LEASING PROCESS.

THEY AIM TO INCREASE CERTAINTY AND LOWER COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH OFFSHORE WIND PROJECTS TO AVOID DEVELOPMENTS BEING ABANDONED IN THE FUTURE.

THIS WILL BE THE FIRST OFFSHORE LEASE OFFERING IN THE GULF OF MAINE.

IT COMES MONTHS AFTER A SIMILAR LEASE-PROPOSAL FLOPPED IN THE GULF OF MEXICO. 

THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION SELLING JUST ONE OF THREE ZONES.

ULTIMATELY THE REGION WILL PRODUCE LESS THAN HALF THE ENERGY OFFICIALS HOPED FOR. 

AS 20-24 ROLLS AHEAD – THERE’S A MAJOR ELECTION LOOMING THAT COULD ALSO ALTER THE COURSE OF OFFSHORE DEVELOPMENT. 

FOR A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF THE STRUGGLES THE INDUSTRY FACED IN 20-23 OR WHY EXPERTS BELIEVE IT WILL REBOUND IN 20-24-  DOWNLOAD OUR STRAIGHT ARROW NEWS APP AND LOOK FOR STORIES FROM ME, JACK AYLMER.