The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) and its Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) on July 22 announced that BOEM will hold a competitive lease sale for commercial wind energy off the shore of Virginia. The auction, which will be the second such U.S. offshore lease, is scheduled to take place on September 4 and will offer nearly 112,800 acres. The nation’s first wind energy lease sale will be held on July 31 for an area offshore of Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
The Virginia wind energy area, located 23.5 nautical miles from the Virginia Beach coastline, will be auctioned as a single lease. The lease area has the potential to support more than 2,000 megawatts of wind generation—enough electricity to power approximately 700,000 homes.
As part of the ‘Smart from the Start’ program for expediting commercial-scale wind energy in federal offshore waters, DOI has identified Wind Energy Areas to spur responsible development of this abundant renewable resource. See the DOI press release , lease background on the BOEM website , and the lease announcement in the Federal Register .