The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) on Thursday announced a draft wind energy area (WEA) in the Gulf of Maine and the start of a 30-day comment period on the area which is large enough to hold over 40 GW of floating offshore wind.
The draft WEA is located 23 miles (37 km) to 120 miles off the coasts of Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, covering about 3,519,067 acres (1,424,347 ha).
The agency said its potential capacity exceeds the current offshore wind energy planning goals for the Gulf of Maine states, namely 10 GW for Massachusetts and 3 GW for Maine. The area is expected to be reduced with an aim to keep sufficient space to meet the Gulf of Maine states’ planning goals.
BOEM is also seeking feedback on whether to add all or parts of three secondary areas that were identified for additional analysis. A map of the draft area can be seen on the agency’s Gulf of Maine webpage.
The announcement is part of efforts towards the Biden administration’s goals of 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030 and 15 GW of floating offshore wind by 2035. BOEM highlighted that since the start of the administration, it has approved the US’s first four commercial-scale offshore wind projects, conducted four offshore wind lease auctions, commenced the environmental review of 10 offshore wind projects and made steps in exploring additional wind energy areas in Oregon, Gulf of Maine and Central Atlantic.