May 27, 2024 10:46 am
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Federal government seeking feedback ahead of Gulf of Maine offshore wind auction

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BY: ANNMARIE HILTON 

As Maine is still figuring out where to build a port for its budding offshore wind industry, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced its proposal to auction offshore wind leases in the Gulf of Maine Tuesday.

As part of the Biden administration’s efforts to drive more offshore wind development, the Gulf of Maine is slated to have eight lease areas offshore Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, which have the potential to generate 15 gigawatts of clean energy to power more than 5 million homes, according to a news release from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

“We’re taking decisive action to catalyze America’s offshore wind industry and leverage American innovation to provide reliable, affordable power to homes and businesses, all while addressing the climate crisis,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland.

BOEM wants to hold auctions for each of the eight lease areas simultaneously, but is first seeking feedback on details such as size, orientation, and location for each area.

BOEM is also looking for feedback on lease stipulations regarding environmental monitoring and whether to incentivize bidders who commit to supporting workforce training programs or supply chain development, according to the agency. The agency is also proposing provisions that would ensure future leaseholders engage with any communities or groups that may be affected, such as Native American tribes and the fishing industry.

The public comment period will be open starting Wednesday until July 1. People who wish to comment can do so by going to regulations.gov and searching for BOEM-2024-0026, or by attending one of the in-person BOEM public meetings.

The first of three in-person meetings will be held at 5 p.m. on May 28 at the Holiday Inn Portland-by the Bay at 88 Spring Street. People may register online to attend. The second meeting will be held on May 29 in Portsmouth, and the final one will be the day after in Danvers, Massachusetts.

This article is republished from the New Hampshire Bulletin under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.