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The primary US offshore wind public sale within the Gulf of Mexico was a dud


There was just one bid within the first-ever US offshore wind public sale within the Gulf of Mexico immediately – right here’s why it was a little bit of a washout.

The three lease areas off Texas and Louisiana that the Bureau of Ocean Vitality Administration (BOEM) auctioned immediately have the potential to generate round 3.7 gigawatts (GW) of unpolluted energy for nearly 1.3 million households – however just one lease space had a single bid.

Germany’s RWE, one of many world’s largest offshore wind builders, received the rights to the 102,480-acre Lake Charles, Louisiana, offshore wind lease space with a successful bid of $5.6 million. The BOEM says that the Lake Charles lease space has the potential to generate 1.24 GW of offshore wind vitality capability and energy almost 435,400 houses with renewable vitality.

The Lake Charles lease space is 44 miles off the Louisiana coast, and it has water depths of 33-82 ft (10-25 meters). RWE’s undertaking is anticipated to be in operation by the mid-2030s, contingent upon allowing timelines.

Sam Eaton, CEO of RWE Offshore Wind Holdings, stated in a press release emailed to Electrek that RWE bid within the Gulf of Mexico offshore wind public sale as a result of it’s a chance to “enter the Gulf’s offshore wind trade on the floor flooring to proceed to work with companions to assist form this nascent market.”

Eaton added that “the area is nicely positioned to bolster its expert vitality workforce and world-class provide chain to unlock a brand new financial engine.” The state of Louisiana has set a purpose to put in 5 GW of offshore wind by 2035, and it additionally has present coastal port and provide chain infrastructure.

Nonetheless, not one of the 15 corporations that certified to bid within the Gulf of Mexico public sale provided on Galveston I and Galveston II off Texas.

The Southeast has low energy costs, and Texas doesn’t have state coverage that helps offshore wind growth. In reality, some lawmakers are downright hostile:

Neither is Texas entertaining any plans to require utilities to purchase energy from offshore wind. And at a time when a number of deliberate offshore wind farms within the Northeast, for instance, are being challenged by rising price inflation, state assist is important.

In response to immediately’s public sale, Liz Burdock, president and CEO of the Enterprise Community for Offshore Wind, stated:

At the moment’s public sale outcomes present the vital position state public coverage performs in offshore wind market growth.

The Community stays absolutely dedicated to offshore wind within the Gulf and to supporting our members forming the strong provide chain that’s already instrumental to constructing out a brand new American vitality trade. 

Learn extra: Regardless of headwinds, offshore wind will see ‘huge’ progress to 2032 – report

Picture and map: RWE

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