Biden admin offers first offshore wind lease in Gulf of Maine

By Heather Richards | 05/29/2024 06:43 AM EDT

The plan could advance technology considered crucial to building wind farms in deepwater locations around the globe.

An illustration of floating offshore wind turbines.

An illustration of floating offshore wind turbines. Josh Bauer/National Renewable Energy Laboratory

The Interior Department is advancing an offshore lease in the Gulf of Maine that could lead to the first floating wind project on the East Coast.

First proposed by Maine’s Democratic Gov. Janet Mills in 2021, the research lease in federal waters would allow the state to build a test project for floating turbines and analyze how wind energy affects the Gulf’s ecosystem.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said Tuesday it had vetted the proposal and determined there would be “no significant impact” on the environment from issuing the lease. A final environmental review of the leasing plan was also published Wednesday in the Federal Register.


“Floating wind technology can make offshore wind a reality in the Gulf of Maine,” said BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein in a statement. “BOEM will continue to work in partnership with the state of Maine as we move forward to facilitate the responsible development of offshore wind.”