Today the United States Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) held its first-ever offshore wind lease sale, leasing 164,750 acres off the coasts of Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The area was divided into two leases, the North Lease Area, which consists of about 97,500 acres, and the South Lease Area, covering approximately 67,250 acres.
Oceana, an international advocacy group protecting oceans, celebrated the sale. “Today is a historic day for the United States and its offshore wind industry. For more than 20 years, we have watched as Europe developed and benefited from offshore wind power. It is high time for the U.S. to take advantage of this unlimited resource that can help solve our climate and energy challenges,” said deputy vice president for U.S. campaigns Jacqueline Savitz.
She continued, “Today’s lease sale takes a critical step toward building offshore wind in U.S. waters. These companies understand the massive clean energy and job-creating potential that offshore wind provides. They should be commended for their efforts to transition America off of fossil fuels and toward a clean energy future.”
“However, in order to continue the advancement of the U.S. offshore wind industry,” stressed Savitz, “we will need a long-term extension of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC). The ITC is necessary to stimulate investment in offshore wind, and extending it will further demonstrate that the U.S. stands strong in its commitment to this renewable energy source. We urge Congress to provide a long-term extension of the ITC for offshore wind so that we can finally begin to reap all of the environmental and economic benefits of this domestic clean energy supply.”