Biden Confirms Two Oregon Sea-Windspots

An offshore windfarm at dusk
Updated Published

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has officially designated two Wind Energy Areas (WEAs) offshore Oregon, encompassing a total of approximately 195,012 acres, to facilitate the future establishment of floating offshore wind farms.

Spanning 61,204 acres, the Coos Bay Wind Energy Area (WEA) is positioned 32 miles offshore, while the Brookings WEA covers 133,808 acres and lies approximately 18 miles offshore. With full development potential, these WEAs could contribute up to 2.4 GW of energy production.

This decision aligns with the objectives of the Biden-Harris administration to achieve ambitious offshore wind energy targets, aiming for the deployment of 30 gigawatts of capacity by 2030 and 15 gigawatts by 2035.

In selecting these WEAs, priority was given to minimizing conflicts with various ocean users, particularly commercial fishing interest.

BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein emphasized the agency's collaboration with the State of Oregon in maintaining a robust and transparent offshore wind planning process. She stated, "BOEM values its close coordination with the State of Oregon as we continue to work together to maintain a robust and transparent offshore wind planning process." Additionally, Klein highlighted ongoing engagement with Tribal governments, federal and state agencies, ocean users, coastal communities, and other stakeholders as crucial in moving forward with the environmental review process.

In February 2024, BOEM will initiate an environmental assessment to evaluate potential impacts stemming from offshore wind leasing activities within the designated WEAs.

Under the Biden-Harris administration, the Department of the Interior has already granted approval for the first six commercial-scale offshore wind energy projects, generating nearly $5.5 billion through four lease auctions. The Department remains committed to exploring additional offshore wind energy development opportunities, including in the Gulf of Maine and along the U.S. Central Atlantic coast. There is a particular emphasis on fostering union-built projects and cultivating a domestic-based supply chain to support the growth of the offshore wind sector.