New Massachusetts offshore wind energy auction, and New Jersey project gets a boost

Two more Massachusetts offshore wind energy leases are moving toward auction by the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, as southern New England and Mid-Atlantic states hasten their own planning for wind power.

The two lease tracts totaling 390,000 acres are located south of Martha’s Vineyard, near previous leases won by Deepwater Wind, Vineyard Wind and Bay State Wind. Plans by those companies could bring up to 1,100 megawatts of generation from turbines to be built on the outer continental shelf.

Much attention has focused on the Trump administration’s drive to expand offshore oil and gas exploration. But Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has been talking up offshore wind energy development in the Atlantic, and spoke at a major industry conference this month in New Jersey.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management plans to offer two more leases for offshore wind development (brown and green shaded areas at right) south of Martha’s Vineyard. BOEM image.

“The Trump Administration supports an all-of-the-above energy policy and using every tool available to achieve American energy dominance,” Zinke said in an April 6 announcement of the Massachusetts leasing plan. “The proposed sale area has tremendous offshore wind energy potential and the responsible development of it continues to play a big role in the Administration’s America-First Offshore Energy Strategy.”

“This area represents the Department’s willingness to listen to stakeholder feedback, including the fishing community, and m....

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