The Biden administration is looking to potentially open the Gulf of Mexico to offshore wind and other renewable energy development, it announced on Tuesday.
The Interior Department said it will examine potential opportunities for development at the Gulf’s outer continental shelf and will allow for public comment to assess interest and gain information.
A spokesman for Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, John Filostrat, told The Hill in an email that this is the first time the agency is gauging interest for renewable energy in the Gulf.
Interior Secretary Deb HaalandDeb HaalandOvernight Energy & Environment — Lummis holds up Biden EPA picks Overnight Energy & Environment — Biden officials announce clean energy plans Biden administration announces actions bolstering clean energy MORE said in a statement that the assessment is “an important first step to see what role the Gulf may play in this exciting frontier.”
Later this week, the administration will publish a request for information for potential development off the coasts of Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi and Alabama. Interior’s statement said the request will focus primarily on wind energy but also will seek information on other renewable energy technologies.
The announcement comes as the Biden administration seeks to reach the capacity to generate 30 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030, a quantity it says is enough to power more than 10 million homes.
The push to bolster offshore wind comes as 35 gigawatts of capacity are already in process as part of the “offshore wind pipeline,” though the country has only two offshore wind farms that are currently operational. Other potential wind farms are in earlier stages, including planning and permitting.
Currently, offshore wind is being produced only on the East Coast, but the federal government has made moves to bring it West, including a recent agreement with California seeking to sell wind energy leases off its coast by the middle of next year.