BOEM proposes second offshore wind auction in Gulf of Mexico

March 21, 2024
Agency plans to offer four areas, a total of 410,060 acres, off Louisiana and Texas.

Offshore staff

WASHINGTON, DC – The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has proposed a second sale of offshore wind development rights in the Gulf of Mexico as soon as this year, despite lackluster interest in the region at an auction seven months ago.

The Interior Department plans to offer four areas, a total of 410,060 acres, off the coasts of Louisiana and Texas and will accept public comments on the proposal for 60 days before deciding whether to proceed with the auction.

A sale of three areas in the Gulf of Mexico last August attracted meager interest, with two of the leases receiving no bids at all. The third lease for an area off Louisiana sold for just $5.6 million.

Analysts have observed that the Gulf's lower wind speeds, soft soils and hurricanes are considered challenges to the development of the wind industry in the GoM. The southeastern US also has low power prices that could make it harder for higher-cost offshore wind to compete for electricity contracts.