Seven major offshore wind farms will be built on the coasts of the United States and in the Gulf of Mexico under plans announced on Wednesday by the Biden administration.
The projects are part of President Joe Biden’s plan to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030, generating enough electricity to power more than 10 million homes.
Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said her department hopes to hold lease sales by 2025 off the coasts of Maine, New York and the mid-Atlantic, as well as the Carolinas, California, Oregon and the Gulf of Mexico.
The projects are part of Biden’s plan to address global warming and could avoid about 78 million metric tons of planet-warming carbon dioxide emissions, while creating up to 77,000 jobs, officials said.
“The Interior Department is laying out an ambitious road map as we advance the administration’s plans to confront climate change, create good-paying jobs and accelerate the nation’s transition to a cleaner energy future,” Ms Haaland said. “We have big goals to achieve a clean energy economy and Interior is meeting the moment.”
In addition to offshore wind, the Interior Department is working with other federal agencies to increase renewable energy production on public lands, Ms Haaland said, with a goal of at least 25 gigawatts of onshore renewable energy from wind and solar power by 2025.
Ms Haaland and Amanda Lefton, director of department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, said officials hope to reduce potential conflicts with fishing groups and other ocean users as much as possible. “This means we will engage early and often with all stakeholders prior to identifying any new wind energy areas,” Ms Lefton said in a statement.
Commercial fishing businesses have said planned offshore wind projects off the East Coast would make it difficult to harvest valuable seafood species such as scallops and lobsters. Some conservation groups also fear that big turbines will kill thousands of birds
Biden has set a goal to deploy 30 gigawatts, or 30,000 megawatts, of offshore wind power in the United States by 2030. Meeting the target could mean jobs for more than 44,000 workers and for 33,000 others in related employment, the White House said.