The Biden administration announced yesterday that they are setting the goal of deploying floating wind turbines in deep waters off both coasts of the United States. The targeted areas for the turbines are Oregon and California on the West coast and the Gulf of Maine on the East coast.
The administration has plans to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind power by the year 2035 and along with this plan is a plan to sell leases along most of the coasts in the United States.
The Gulf of Maine is being chosen because it has strong and consistent wind gusts. The issue with offshore wind turbine farms is that they pose a possible conflict with Maines's fishing industry. Maine lobstermen have raised concerns about fishing gear becoming entangled with the wind platforms. In May several conservation groups also asked the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) for a review of the impacts on the Gulf of Maine ecosystems which BOEM has decided not to do.
The issue with using conventional stationary wind turbines in the Gulf of Maine is that it just wouldn't be possible to anchor them to the seabed because the ocean floor is deep in the Gulf of Maine. This is instead why floating wind turbines are required. Floating wind turbines are also more expensive than stationary wind turbines.
The Interior Departments Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is taking public feedback on selling wind development rights across 13.7 million acres of the Atlantic along the Maine coast. You can leave comments by following the information on how to do that here. The comment period will close on October 3, 2022.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is also looking for public input on Maine's bid for a research lease to test how floating wind turbines would affect the fishing industry in Maine. You can leave comments and information on ways to do so can be found here. The comment period closes on October 3, 2022.