BOEM assessing interest in Gulf wind leases


The Biden Administration has ambitious plans to expand offshore wind to the Gulf of Mexico—and those plans are beginning to take shape, reports The National Law Review.

In June, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) published a Request for Interest (RFI) in the Federal Register to assess interest in offshore wind on the Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf. The area in question would be offshore of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. The RFI opens a 45-day comment period to gauge potential interest in such offshore wind development, and this feedback will help BOEM determine its next steps.

BOEM currently has 17 commercial offshore wind leases in the Atlantic, which comprise 1.7 million acres in the Outer Continental Shelf.  A 2016 National Renewable Energy Laboratory study determined that the Gulf of Mexico accounts for approximately 15% of the gross offshore wind energy potential in the United States and 25% of the technical offshore wind energy potential.

In addition to the federal effort, Louisiana convened a Climate Initiatives Task Force in November 2020 and Gov. John Bel Edwards noted that renewable energy development in the Gulf would be a key strategy. Other Gulf states have yet to be as proactive. Read the full story.