The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will be holding an offshore wind auction next month for an area of 488,000 acres in the New York Bight. 

The auction scheduled for Feb. 23, will allow offshore wind developers to bid on six lease areas, the most areas ever offered in a single auction. Leases offered in the sale could result in 5.6 to 7 gigawatts of offshore wind energy, enough to power nearly 2 million homes. 

The New York Bight is a large triangular-shaped area of the water that stretches from Cape May, N.J. to Montauk Point, where the leases are being auctioned.   

The New York Bight offshore wind auction will include several lease stipulations designed to promote the development of a robust domestic U.S. supply chain for offshore wind and enhance engagement with native tribes, the commercial fishing industry, other ocean users, and underserved communities, according to a statement from Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office. The stipulations will advance flexibility in transmission planning, source major components domestically and make use of project labor agreements throughout the construction of offshore wind projects. 

The Biden-Harris administration has a goal to install 30 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030 and New York and New Jersey have set the nation’s largest regional offshore wind target of installing over 16 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2035. 

“Here in New York, we are already living with the effects of climate change through extreme weather that pose a direct threat to our way of life,” Hochul said in the statement. “We must chart an ambitious path toward a cleaner energy economy now more than ever, and today’s milestone further highlights New York’s commitment to reaching its offshore wind goals.” 

Hochul has previously announced plans to invest in offshore wind infrastructure, procure enough wind energy to power at least 1.5 million homes, initiate planning for an offshore wind transmission network and launch the offshore wind Master Plan 2.0 Deep Water. The plan will support more than 6,800 jobs, generate a combined economic impact of $12.1 billion statewide and create more than 4.3 gigawatts of energy, enough to power nearly 3 million homes in the state. 

Long Island Association CEO Matt Cohen tweeted the group’s support for the plans after the announcement on Wednesday. 

“The LIA supports this historic move to diversify our energy mix and will work to ensure Long Island reaps the economic benefits of jobs and supply chain opportunities.”

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