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Oregon Coast targeted for offshore wind development

Offshore Wind
Michael Dwyer/AP
In this Aug. 15, 2016 file photo, three of Deepwater Wind's five turbines stand in the water off Block Island, R.I, the nation's first offshore wind farm.

COOS BAY, Ore. (AP) — Two areas off the Oregon Coast are being targeted to host offshore wind farms as the Biden administration seeks to ramp up renewable energy production.

The U.S. Department of the Interior announced Wednesday that the locations being identified to potentially host wind farms are about 12 nautical miles offshore Coos Bay and Brookings.

The areas comprise about 1.16 million acres (468,787 hectares) in total.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland described the upcoming steps taken toward possible leasing off the coast of Oregon as “another opportunity to strengthen the clean energy industry while creating good-paying union jobs.”

Any offers to lease waters off the Oregon Coast would require environmental review and consultations with local, state and tribal governments.

The agency is seeking public comments on how wind development would impact marine life and other ocean uses, such as commercial fishing in the areas, until June 29, 2022.

Oregon Public Broadcasting reports this is the first big regulatory step toward bringing an offshore wind project to the Pacific Northwest state.

Late last year, Interior said that the Oregon Coast was being targeted by the agency for offshore wind energy production as it has some of the best wind resources in the country.

On Wednesday, the agency also announced that it had also identified six areas for possible development off the Atlantic Coast.

The potential wind farm locations are part of President Joe Biden’s plan to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030, generating enough electricity to power more than 10 million homes.

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