US Picks Final Gulf of Maine Area for 32 GW of Offshore Wind

The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has designated a final Wind Energy Area (WEA) in the Gulf of Maine, which has the potential to support 32 GW of offshore wind capacity, exceeding the current state goals for Massachusetts (10 GW) and Maine (3 GW).

The WEA totals about two million acres offshore Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire ranging from approximately 23-92 miles off the coast.

Source: The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

The completion of the area’s planning process comes after BOEM’s announcement in October 2023 of a public comment period on the draft WEA.

BOEM finalised the WEA after engagement with the states of Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, Tribes, local residents, ocean users including the fishing community, federal government partners, and other members of the public.

Based on the feedback received about natural and cultural resources and current ocean users, the WEA represents an 80 per cent reduction from the area BOEM initially identified for possible leasing and a 43 per cent reduction from the draft WEA, said the US agency.

The resulting WEA avoids important areas for lobster fishing, North Atlantic right whale habitat, and other important fishing areas and habitats, according to BOEM.

“Additionally, in response to initial conversations with Tribal Nations located within Maine, the WEA strives to avoid a majority of the historical and present-day fishing grounds of those Tribes,” said BOEM.


The agency will now publish a notice on its intent to prepare an environmental assessment of potential impacts from offshore wind leasing activities in the WEA which will initiate a 30-day public comment period. There will be another public comment period if BOEM decides to move forward with a lease sale in the WEA.

In February, the state of Maine selected Sears Island as its preferred site for a port facility to support the floating offshore wind industry.

The site is expected to be about 100 acres in totality and would be a purpose-built facility for floating offshore wind fabrication, staging, assembly, maintenance, and deployment.


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