US government to auction over 480,000 acres for wind farms

Jan 12, 2022: The US government announced Wednesday that it will auction off more than 480,000 acres off the coasts of New York and New Jersey as part of its drive to provide renewable energy to more than 10 million homes by 2030.

The US Department of Homeland Security said offshore wind developers will bid on six New York Bytes areas on February 23 – the highest lot ever offered in a single auction – with energy between 5.6 and 7 gigawatts. It could generate enough electricity to power 2 million homes, the Interior Ministry said.

“We are at an inflection point for domestic offshore wind energy development. We must seize this moment — and we must do it together,” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said in a statement.

The largest ever auction of this kind, will be the first under President Joe Biden, whose administration aims to build as many as to seven major offshore wind farms and review plans for at least 16 others along the US coasts.

The effort is part of Washington’s fight against climate change, and the Biden administration says wind farm investment will reduce emissions of 78 million tons of carbon dioxide and create tens of thousands of jobs.

The Department of Homeland Security said the auction comes after New York and New Jersey state governments announced plans to install 16 gigawatts of offshore wind power by 2035, the largest such commitment in the country.

Currently only one offshore wind farm is fully operational in the United States: Block Island Wind Farm, which was completed outside Rhode Island in late 2016 and has the capacity to generate 30 MW of electricity.

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