Lease Sale Brings America Closer to Offshore Wind Revolution
The Ranking Member of the Natural Resources Committee, Edward J. Markey, commented the Interior Department’s announcement of the first-ever competitive lease sales for renewable energy development in federal waters offshore. The lease sales, to be held next year, will offer some of the nation’s best offshore wind resources in one area identified off the coast of Virginia and another area off of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
“This wind lease sale will bring America closer to unleashing an offshore wind revolution,” said Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), the Ranking Member of the Natural Resources Committee. “The decision to hold a competitive lease sale demonstrates that the private-sector is very interested in making offshore wind a reality. I commend Secretary Salazar on today’s announcement and urge him to continue working with the states to structure these and future lease sales in a way that incorporates the renewable energy plans and commitments that these states have already made.”
The Interior Department determined there was sufficient interest in the two regions to warrant a competitive lease sale based on feedback from wind farm developers earlier in 2012.
The proposed lease sales today would offer 277,550 acres in two “Wind Energy Areas” – one area offshore Virginia and offshore Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The areas proposed in the lease sales are projected to be able to support more than 4,000 megawatts of wind generation, which is enough electricity to power an estimated 1.4 million homes.
Press release, December 3, 2012; Image: Natural Resources Democrats