1 of 2 | U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks after launching a federal offshore wind program last year. On Monday, the government announced three news areas in the Atlantic that could support wind energy development. File photo by Shawn Thew/UPI | License Photo
July 31 (UPI) -- If fully developed, new acreage in the U.S. territorial waters of the Atlantic Ocean could support at least four gigawatts of offshore wind energy, the government said Monday.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management identified three new wind energy areas off the coast of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia totaling 356,550 acres for potential development.
"If fully developed, the final WEAs could support between four and eight gigawatts of energy production," the agency said.
The government last month said the review process was underway for the Beacon Wind facility that would be situated about 17 miles south of Nantucket, Mass.
Combined, the 2.4 GW of energy could be enough to meet the annual demands of an estimated 850,000 homes.
Plans call for up to 155 wind turbines and associated infrastructure to bring the power onshore in New York and Connecticut. BOEM estimates the construction phase could create nearly 6,500 jobs.
Eleven governors on the East Coast, meanwhile, recently launched the Federal-State Offshore Wind Implementation Partnership, which collaborates with federal agencies and other states to build an American supply chain for offshore wind development.
The Energy Department said its plans could generate $12 billion in private investments and support 77,000 jobs. It could also reduce offshore wind costs from $73 per megawatt-hour to $51 per MWh by 2030.
A 30-day comment period on the BOEM's latest nod for offshore wind starts Tuesday.
President Joe Biden wants to see 30 gigawatts of offshore energy on the grid by 2030, a lofty goal considering there are only two facilities -- Block Island off the coast of Rhode Island and the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Pilot Project - -in commercial service.