The available area set aside for offshore wind farms in the United States is about to triple. A new federal land lease will allow for 740,000 acres off the coast of Massachusetts to be made available for commercial wind projects.
In the largest competitive lease sale for offshore US wind development, up to a dozen developers will be able to bid on access to the area, the Interior Department has announced. This is not to say that the area will be fully developed, but it will become possible to do so.
So far 10 companies have expressed interest in leasing the area, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has said. In addition, the government has previously allowed 7 commercial wind development leases off the Atlantic coast.
The offshore area could yield as much as 4 to 5 gigwatts of wind power capacity, which is enough for about 1.4 million households. Europe is currently the leader in offshore wind capacity, with around 6.6 gigawatts already installed. The U.S. has lagged in the area of offshore wind development, but it looks like that’s set to change.