Newly Announced Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy Leases Mark Progress

Plans announced to sell leases for preliminary offshore wind energy development

11-30-2012 // Miles Grant
Offshore wind turbine

The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management today announced plans to sell leases for preliminary offshore wind energy development activities in two areas of federal waters recently identified and reviewed off the coasts of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Virginia. The leases will be sold through a competitive auction in 2013.

Catherine Bowes, senior manager for new energy solutions at National Wildlife Federation, said today:

“Today’s announcement is a major step forward in America’s pursuit of offshore wind energy. Properly-sited clean energy like offshore wind is critical for protecting wildlife from the dangers of climate change, and we applaud the Obama Administration for taking action to advance an important new clean energy source for America.

“The competitive lease sales announced today cover areas identified by stakeholders as having minimal conflicts and strong wind energy potential. While measures to protect sensitive wildlife are included in today’s announcement, the National Wildlife Federation encourages wind energy developers and permitting agencies to utilize numerous remaining opportunities in the development process to further protect endangered species like the North Atlantic Right Whale."

Atlantic offshore wind energy can create hundreds of thousands of jobs while powering our homes and businesses with local, clean energy, according to a report released in September by the National Wildlife Federation, Environment America, and 45 partner organizations along the Atlantic Coast. The Turning Point for Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy: Time for Action to Create Jobs, Reduce Pollution, Protect Wildlife & Secure America’s Energy Future details the economic and environmental benefits of offshore wind energy, the progress made to-date, potential obstacles to that progress, and a prosperous path forward.