The Biden administration announced plans to conduct an auction for offshore wind development rights in two areas off the coasts of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia in the coming year. This proposed auction aligns with President Joe Biden's broader strategy to accelerate the expansion of offshore wind energy as part of the efforts to address climate change.
The designated areas for the proposed auction cover 101,443 acres off the coasts of Delaware and Maryland and 176,505 acres off the coast of Virginia. According to estimates, these areas have the potential to generate power for over 2.2 million homes. Despite challenges in the offshore wind industry, including rising costs and supply chain constraints, the Biden administration remains committed to its offshore leasing plan.
Before finalizing the decision to lease any of the proposed areas, the Interior Department will open a 60-day public comment period to gather input. If the auction proceeds as planned, it would be the fifth such event since President Biden assumed office in 2021. The administration also intends to hold lease sales for additional areas off the coasts of Oregon and Maine in the coming year.
Simultaneously, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), under the Interior Department, is evaluating additional areas off the Maryland coast for potential offshore wind leasing in the future.