U.S. to Lease Federal Waters for Commercial Offshore Wind Energy

The federal government will hold the first lease sale for commercial offshore wind energy projects at the end of July, the Interior Department announced on Tuesday.

The sale will offer 164,750 acres of federal waters off the coasts of Rhode Island and Massachusetts. If that is fully developed, officials said, it could produce as much as 3,400 megawatts of electricity, enough to power more than one million homes.

The lease sale shows the Obama administration’s determination to pursue a wide range of domestic energy production, from fossil fuels and renewable sources. Sally Jewell, the new secretary of the interior, said the department would accelerate offshore wind leasing if the July 31 lease sale was successful.

“Today we are moving closer to tapping into the enormous potential offered by offshore wind to create jobs, increase our sustainability and strengthen our nation’s competitiveness in this new energy frontier,” Ms. Jewell said in a statement. “As we experience record domestic oil and gas development, we are also working to ensure that America leads the world in developing the energy of the future.”

Read full text at The New York Times