Interior proposes first offshore wind sales for Maine, Oregon

By Heather Richards | 04/30/2024 01:23 PM EDT

The sales could face pushback from fishermen and tribes.

Lobster boats navigate the Gulf of Maine.

Lobster boats navigate the Gulf of Maine on July 5, 2019, in Deer Isle, Maine. The Biden administration has proposed offshore wind leases in the Gulf of Maine. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The Interior Department on Tuesday proposed forthcoming offshore wind auctions off the coasts of Oregon and Maine, a potential boost for emerging floating wind technology that could also conflict with fishermen and Pacific Northwest tribes.

Combined, the proposed waters in the Gulf of Maine and the Pacific Ocean would support enough energy to power 6 million homes, or roughly 18 gigawatts of electricity generation.

The proposed auctions — final notices that include sales dates have not yet been announced — come on the heels of Interior’s decree this month that it will hold 12 offshore wind lease sales over the next five years.


President Joe Biden has approved enough offshore wind projects since taking office to power roughly 4 million homes. The industry is a key tenet in the administration’s climate agenda despite inflation and supply chain troubles slowing offshore wind growth and even canceling some projects last year.