Biden-Harris Administration Approves Seventh Offshore Wind Project

The Biden-Harris administration announced the Department of the Interior’s approval of the Sunrise Wind offshore wind project – the nation’s seventh approval of a commercial-scale offshore wind project under President Biden’s leadership. These seven projects have the potential to provide more than 8 gigawatts of clean, renewable energy to power roughly 3 million homes, and support the Administration’s goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030. 

Bidenomics and the President’s Investing in America agenda are growing the American economy from the middle out and bottom up – from rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, to driving over half a trillion dollars in new private sector manufacturing and clean energy investments in the United States, to creating good-paying jobs and building a clean energy economy that will combat the climate crisis and make our communities more resilient. 

“The Biden-Harris administration continues to make historic progress in developing the American offshore wind industry, which is paving the way for good-paying union jobs in manufacturing, shipbuilding and construction," said Secretary Deb Haaland. "The Interior Department’s approval of the seventh offshore wind project marks another substantial step towards fulfilling our clean energy goals. In collaboration with Tribes, labor groups, industry, and partners nationwide, we are steadfast in our commitment to fostering clean energy growth that enriches communities, bolsters national energy security, and tackles the climate crisis head-on." 

"BOEM and our partners remain focused on implementing the Biden-Harris administration's vision of approving 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030," said Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Director Elizabeth Klein. "Through constructive, broad-based engagement, we are navigating potential conflicts and advancing the responsible growth of offshore wind. As we propel this industry forward, we eagerly anticipate further cooperation and progress with our partners." 

“Today’s offshore wind project approval, the seventh under President Biden’s leadership, continues a surge of momentum that the Biden-Harris administration is delivering for the American offshore wind industry and workers and communities across the country,” said President Biden’s National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi. “Just in the last few weeks, our Administration has issued guidance to expand pathways for offshore wind projects to be eligible for the Energy Communities tax credit bonus in the President’s Inflation Reduction Act, celebrated the completion of the nation’s first commercial-scale offshore wind project, proposed a second offshore wind sale for the Gulf of Mexico and finalized the first wind energy area in the Gulf of Maine, and announced another $450 million available for port grants through the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – including for port projects that support offshore wind. We will continue turning offshore wind opportunities into realities, with a bright future ahead as we grow an American industry that is creating good-paying union jobs, supporting our manufacturing boom, and tackling the climate crisis.” 

BOEM has held four offshore wind lease auctions, which have brought in almost $5.5 billion in high bids, including a record-breaking sale offshore New York and New Jersey and the first-ever sales offshore the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico coasts. The bureau has also advanced the process to explore additional opportunities for offshore wind energy development in the U.S., including in the Gulf of Maine and offshore Oregon and the U.S. Central Atlantic coast. The Department has also taken steps to evolve its approach to offshore wind to drive towards union-built projects and a domestic-based supply chain. 

The Sunrise Wind project will have a total capacity of 924-megawatt (MW) of clean, renewable energy that BOEM estimates could power more than 320,000 homes per year. The project will support more than 800 direct jobs each year during the construction phase and about 300 jobs annually during the operations phase. The lease area is located approximately 16.4 nautical miles (nm) south of Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., approximately 26.5 nm east of Montauk, N.Y., and approximately 14.5 nm from Block Island, R.I. A map of the area can be found on BOEM’s website

In response to comments from government partners, key stakeholders, and the public, and after considering project feasibility, BOEM selected a preferred alternative that includes fewer wind turbine generators than proposed by Sunrise Wind. This decision aims to accommodate geotechnical feasibility of the project, reduce impacts to benthic habitat and Atlantic cod, and meet the energy needs of New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  

Invaluable feedback on the project’s potential environmental impacts was received through nation-to-nation consultations with Tribes, input from federal, state and local agencies, and from public meetings and comments. The Record of Decision includes measures aimed at avoiding, minimizing and mitigating the potential impacts that may result from the construction and operation of the project. These measures include a commitment by Sunrise Wind LLC to establishing fishery mitigation funds to compensate commercial and for-hire recreational fishers for any losses directly arising from the project.