The US Department of the Interior (DOI) has announced its decision to hold the first-ever offshore wind energy lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico next month.

To be auctioned on 29 August by the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the areas marked in the auction are projected to produce nearly 3.7GW of clean energy.

The final sale notice for the offshore wind energy lease sale comprises a 102,480-acre area offshore Lake Charles, Louisiana and two areas off the coast of Galveston, Texas.

One of the Texas leases includes an area of 102,480 acres while the other spans 96,786 acres.

Put together, the three lease areas are anticipated to facilitate enough offshore wind power generation to meet the electricity requirements of approximately 1.3 million households.

According to the DOI, the offshore wind energy lease sale will advance the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of installing 30GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030 and achieving a carbon-free electricity sector by 2035.

BOEM said that there are 16 entities which are qualified financially to participate in the lease sale as bidders. These include Equinor Wind US, Shell New Energies US, RWE Offshore US Gulf, TotalEnergies Renewables USA, US Mainstream Renewable Power, Invenergy GOM Offshore Wind, and others.

BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein said: “The Gulf of Mexico is poised to play a key role in our nation’s transition to a clean energy future.

“Today’s announcement follows years of engagement with government agencies, states, ocean users, and stakeholders in the Gulf of Mexico region. We look forward to continued collaboration in the years to come.”

The lease auction is part of the leasing path announced by Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland in 2021. It comes after the Biden-Harris administration’s third approval earlier this month of a commercial-scale, offshore wind energy project in the US.

Haaland said: “Today’s announcement marks another historic step in the Biden-Harris administration’s efforts to create a clean energy future.

“By catalysing the offshore wind energy potential of the Gulf of Mexico, we can tackle the climate crisis, lower energy costs for families and create good-paying jobs.”

The proposed sale notice for offshore wind energy development in the Gulf of Mexico was announced by the DOI in February 2023. It was followed by a public comment period of 60 days.