BOEM Identifies Draft Wind Energy Areas Offshore Oregon

As part of the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030 and 15 gigawatts of floating offshore wind by 2035, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) today identified two draft Wind Energy Areas (WEAs) off the coast of Oregon and opened a 60-day public review and comment period on those WEAs.  

The draft WEAs cover approximately 219,568 acres offshore southern Oregon with their closest points ranging from approximately 18 – 32 miles off the coast. A map of the draft WEAs can be found on Oregon state activities page.

“As BOEM works to identify potential areas for offshore wind development, we continue to prioritize a robust and transparent process, including ongoing engagement with Tribal governments, agency partners, the fishing community, and other ocean users,” said BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein. “At the request of Oregon’s governor and other state officials, there will be a 60-day public comment period on the draft WEAs and BOEM will hold an intergovernmental task force meeting in addition to public meetings during the comment period. We look forward to working with the state to help us finalize offshore areas that have strong resource potential and the fewest environmental and user conflicts.”

Oregon has major opportunities for offshore wind deployment, which will create good-paying jobs and new economic activity. Due to the deep waters off of Oregon’s coast, these areas are also an opportunity to accelerate U.S. leadership in floating technologies. The draft WEAs announced today would tap up to 2.6 GW of Oregon’s potential. 

To identify the draft WEAs, BOEM used a comprehensive process that involved outreach to potentially impacted stakeholders and ocean users, Tribes, and the public to identify the potential offshore locations that appear most suitable for floating offshore wind energy development and took into consideration possible impacts to local coastal and marine resources and ocean users. BOEM collaborated with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science to use an ocean planning model that seeks to identify and minimize conflicts.

The two draft WEAs reflect changes based on public, stakeholder, and interagency engagement from the Oregon Call Area that the Department of the Interior released for public comment in April 2022. Public input from this new comment period will be considered before formally designating final WEAs off the coast of Oregon.

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