BOEM Designates Oregon Areas for 2.4 GW of Offshore Wind

The US Bureau Of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has designated two final wind energy areas (WEAs) offshore Oregon which could accommodate 2.4 GW of offshore wind capacity.

The two areas total approximately 195,012 acres and they avoid 98 per cent of the areas recommended for exclusion due to their importance as commercial fishing grounds, BOEM said.

The Coos Bay WEA is 61,204 acres and is located 32 miles from shore while the Brookings WEA is 133,808 acres and is about 18 miles from shore.

The WEAs were designated following engagement and feedback from the state, tribes, local residents, ocean users, federal government partners, and other members of the public.

The final WEAs are based on reducing potential conflicts of ocean users, particularly on commercial fishing, said BOEM.

“We will continue to work closely with Tribal governments, federal and state government agencies, ocean users, coastal communities and all interested stakeholders as we move forward with our environmental review,” said Elizabeth Klein, BOEM Director.

On 14 February, BOEM will publish a notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact assessment from offshore wind leasing in the WEAs and open a 30-day public comment period.

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Another public comment period would occur if BOEM decides to move forward with a lease sale in either of the WEAs, according to BOEM.

In August 2023, BOEM announced a public comment period on two draft WEAs located offshore southern Oregon spreading across some 219,568 acres. Both WEAs represent a subset of the original 1,159,298 acres that the Department of Interior identified for public comment in April 2022.

Avangrid, Ocean Winds, BlueFloat Energy, Mainstream Renewable Power, and a joint venture between TotalEnergies and Simply Blue Group have already expressed interest in building wind farms offshore Oregon.

The US aims to deploy 30 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030 and 15 GW of floating offshore wind capacity by 2035.


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