The US Department of the Interior (DOI) was able to sell only one out of the three lease areas offered by it in the Gulf of Mexico in what was the region’s first-ever offshore wind energy lease auction.

The lone winning bid in the auction carried out by the department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) was $5.6m. It was made by German energy company RWE to secure the Lake Charles lease area, offshore Louisiana.

The offered area has the potential to produce about 1.24GW of offshore wind energy, which is equivalent to providing close to 435,400 households with clean and renewable energy.

The two Galveston lease areas, offshore Texas, that were part of the auction did not receive any bids.

The Lake Charles lease area is spread over 102,480 acres, while one of the Texas leases covers an area of the same size, and the other spans 96,786 acres.

Put together, the three areas are projected to generate nearly 3.7GW of offshore wind energy.

According to the DOI, the offshore wind energy lease sale aims to advance the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of installing 30GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030.

Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland said: “The Biden-Harris administration is making once-in-a-generation investments in America’s infrastructure and our clean energy future as we take steps to bring offshore wind energy to additional areas around the country.

“I am proud of the hard work being done by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and across the Interior Department to deliver on our promises to advance a clean energy economy that will lower energy costs for families and create good-paying jobs as we help tackle the climate crisis.”

RWE said that it expects to bring the new offshore wind farm in the Lake Charles lease area online by the mid-2030s, subject to permitting timelines.

Lease Area OCS-G 37334, which will host the project, is located 71km off the Louisiana coast and has water depths of 10-25m.

RWE offshore wind CEO Sven Utermöhlen said: “In 2022 we entered the U.S. offshore market and quickly expanded from coast-to-coast. Entering a new region in the Gulf is an exciting milestone to further deploy over 20 years of expertise across the value chain and deliver a new energy resource into the region.”