BOEM sets date for Gulf of Mexico offshore wind lease sale

Written by Nick Blenkey
Klein announces two sales that will require floating offshore wind solutions

BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein says Oregon and Gulf of Maine "commitment to exploring the potential for offshore wind development from coast to coast.”

The U.S. Department of the Interior said today that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will hold the first-ever offshore wind energy lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico on August 29, 2023.

The areas to be auctioned have the potential to generate approximately 3.7 GW and power almost 1.3 million homes.

Gulf of Mexico offshore wind lease sale areas

The Final Sale Notice (FSN) includes a 102,480-acre area offshore Lake Charles, Louisiana, and two areas offshore Galveston, Texas, one comprising 102,480 acres and the other 96,786 acres. The FSN provides detailed information about the final lease areas, lease provisions and conditions, and auction details. It also identifies qualified companies who can participate in the lease auction. Details on the FSN, along with a map of the area are posted on BOEM’s website.

Earlier this year, the Department announced the Proposed Sale Notice for offshore wind energy development in the Gulf of Mexico. During the 60-day comment period, BOEM received comments on several lease stipulations that, it says, supports its commitment to engage with underserved communities, ocean users and other stakeholders.

Some of these stipulations, which are part of the FSN, include:

  • Bidding credits to bidders who commit to supporting workforce training programs, developing a domestic supply chain for the offshore wind energy industry,
  • Bidding credits for establishing and contributing to a fisheries compensatory mitigation fund or contributing to an existing fund to mitigate potential negative impacts to commercial and for-hire recreational fisheries caused by offshore wind energy development in the Gulf of Mexico, and
  • Requiring that lessees provide a regular progress report summarizing engagement with tribes and ocean users potentially affected by proposed offshore wind energy activities.

“Today’s announcement marks another historic step in the Biden-Harris administration’s efforts to create a clean energy future. By catalyzing the offshore wind energy potential of the Gulf of Mexico, we can tackle the climate crisis, lower energy costs for families and create good-paying jobs,” said Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland.

“The Gulf of Mexico is poised to play a key role in our nation’s transition to a clean energy future,” said  BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein. “Today’s announcement follows years of engagement with government agencies, states, ocean users, and stakeholders in the Gulf of Mexico region. We look forward to continued collaboration in the years to come.”

The lease sale announced today follows the Biden administration’s third approval earlier this month of a commercial-scale, offshore wind energy project in the United States and is part of the leasing path announced by Secretary Haaland in 2021.

BOEM expects to review at least 16 Construction and Operations Plans of commercial, offshore wind energy facilities by 2025, which would represent more than 27 GW of clean energy.


National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) President Erik Milito issued the following statement following the announcement of the date for the Gulf of Mexico offshore wind lease sale:

“Today’s announcement marks a significant milestone in the advancement of the U.S. offshore wind sector. The Gulf of Mexico has long been esteemed as a premier offshore energy hub, spearheading the way with low-carbon barrels of oil. This achievement underscores the region’s history of unwavering innovation and leadership. The introduction of new offshore wind lease sales, combined with the resumption of a long-term oil and gas leasing program, can establish a solid foundation for the continued prosperity of the Gulf of Mexico’s exceptional and invaluable energy portfolio.

“The remarkable synergy between offshore oil and gas and offshore wind is evident, and NOIA member companies have played a pivotal role in developing and constructing both offshore oil and gas projects and offshore wind projects. With the introduction of offshore wind in the Gulf Coast, numerous local companies will now have the opportunity to actively participate in the construction of new wind projects closer to home.

“The American offshore energy sector significantly benefits Americans from all walks of life, and this relationship will only grow stronger with new offshore wind opportunities. We are thrilled about the potential of offshore wind in the Gulf of Mexico.”

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