Today, the United States Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) leased nearly 112,800 acres off the coast of Virginia for offshore wind energy development.
Oceana applauded the sale and released the following statement from its Vice President for U.S. Oceans Jacqueline Savitz:
“Today is further proof that the Obama administration is committed to building a strong offshore wind industry in the United States. This lease sale alone could result in enough electricity to power approximately 700,000 homes. We hope the company that ultimately wins this lease sale will be committed to the responsible, but expeditious, development of offshore wind farms in the area.
With the government moving quickly into the leasing process, the biggest barrier to clean and renewable offshore wind energy is the investment environment. To get offshore wind turbines built, we must stimulate investment. Oceana is calling on Congress to provide a long-term extension of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for offshore wind, so that we can finally begin to reap all of the environmental and economic benefits of this clean, domestic energy supply. A long-term extension of the ITC, as currently proposed in bipartisan legislation championed by Senators Tom Carper (D-DE) and Susan Collins (R-ME) in the Senate and Representatives Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) and Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) in the House, could help get nine to 10 wind projects up and running.
Offshore wind provides massive clean energy and job-creating potential for the United States and will also help us address the growing problem of climate change. We needed it yesterday, and we are glad the government is moving forward today.”
In July, BOEM held its first-ever competitive offshore wind lease auction, leasing 164,750 acres off the coasts of Rhode Island and Massachusetts.