First-Ever Gulf of Mexico Offshore Wind Lease Sale Underway

The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has kicked off the offshore wind energy lease sale for the Gulf of Mexico. As of 9:00 EST (15:00 CET), BOEM will be receiving bids for three areas on the Outer Continental Shelf off Louisiana and Texas.

Also in this article: Full list of prequalified bidders for the Gulf of Mexico offshore wind lease sale.

The offshore wind energy areas (WEAs) being offered today include one site of 102,480 acres offshore Lake Charles, Louisiana, and two lease areas totalling nearly 200,000 acres offshore Galveston, Texas.

According to information BOEM shared earlier, the three areas have the potential to accommodate over 3.6 GW of installed capacity which can power almost 1.3 million households. Seeing the capacities that the winners of the previous few lease sales announced after those auctions were completed, it is likely that the lease areas in the Gulf of Mexico could also house projects totalling much more than 3.6 GW.

Maps of Gulf of Mexico wind lease areas offshore Louisiana and Texas; Image: BOEM
Gulf of Mexico wind lease areas offshore Louisiana and Texas; Image: BOEM

The Department of the Interior issued the final sale notice (FSN) for the Gulf of Mexico on 20 July, when US President Joe Biden announced the first-ever offshore wind auction in this area would take place on 29 August.

The FSN, among other things, also provides a list of the companies that BOEM prequalified for the lease sale which has significantly expanded since the initial list was published in the Proposed Sale Notice (PSN).

As reported in the Premium news on our sibling site Offshore Energy in March, BOEM had prequalified eight bidders by the time the PSN was issued, including Avangrid, Shell and TotalEnergies. The Final Sale Notice contains 15 companies, with Equinor and RWE joining the list, among others. (It is worth noting that not all prequalified bidders will necessarily participate in the lease sale.)

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The 15 developers eligible to bid for offshore wind lease areas in the Gulf of Mexico as per the FSN are:

  • 547 Energy LLC
  • Avangrid Renewables, LLC
  • Coastal Offshore Renewable Energy LLC
  • energyRe Offshore Wind Holdings, LLC
  • Equinor Wind US LLC
  • Gulf Coast Offshore Wind LLC
  • Gulf Wind Offshore LLC
  • Hanwha Offshore North America LLC
  • Hanwha Q CELLS USA Corp
  • Hecate Energy LLC
  • Invenergy GOM Offshore Wind LLC
  • RWE Offshore US Gulf, LLC
  • Shell New Energies US LLC
  • TotalEnergies Renewables USA, LLC
  • US Mainstream Renewable Power, Inc

BOEM will hold the lease sale in the form of an online auction that will have a series of rounds and will announce the provisional winners for each of the lease areas shortly after the auction ends.


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