Interior proposes second offshore wind sale in Gulf of Mexico

By Heather Richards | 03/20/2024 01:34 PM EDT

A 2023 wind auction in the region failed to attract significant interest.

A boat chugs along the Gulf of Mexico as the sun sets over the the horizon

A boat chugs along the Gulf of Mexico as the sun sets over the the horizon on March 19, 2020, in the St. George Island section of Eastpoint, Florida. Julio Cortez/AP

The Interior Department on Wednesday proposed an offshore wind auction in the Gulf of Mexico, one of four such sales it plans to hold this year to spur expansion of the nascent industry around the U.S.

The auction, which does not yet have a date announced, would offer four areas off the coast of Louisiana and Texas to wind developers. Totaling more than 400,000 acres, the wind areas could support enough wind energy to power 1.2 million homes.

This would be the second time the Biden administration has opened the Gulf of Mexico to offshore wind developers. A disappointing auction in the Gulf last year sold only one lease, underscoring the middling interest in building wind farms in the region, where wind gusts aren’t very powerful and electricity is already cheap from prolific oil and gas production. Roughly 15 percent of the nation’s oil supply comes from the Gulf.


Still, the Biden administration is trying to entrench offshore wind development rights in several regions of the country, chasing a goal to reach 30 gigawatts of offshore wind power by the end of the decade.