As part of the Obama Administration’s strategy to expand domestic energy production, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Deputy Secretary David J. Hayes and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Tommy P. Beaudreau announced competitive lease sales for renewable energy development in 2 wind-energy areas (WEAs) in federal waters, one being off Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

Map of proposed lease area.

The area covers approximately 164,750 acres and is located about 9.2 nautical miles south of the Rhode Island coastline. The area will be auctioned as 2 leases, referred to as the North Zone and South Zone. The North Zone lease comprises about 97,500 acres and has the capacity to support more than 1,000 MW of wind generation, according to government estimates. The South Zone lease will consist of about 67,250 acres and is capable of supporting a project of between 350 tp 1,000 MW. Together, these zones could support enough electricity to power 700,000 homes.

The lease sales, which will be held next year, will be the first-ever competitive sales on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) for wind energy, and are major milestones in the Administration’s “Smart from the Start” wind energy program to facilitate the siting, leasing and construction of new projects.

For more information on the Rhode Island/Massachusetts Proposed Sale Notice, CLICK HERE.


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