WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) today announced a lease sale for offshore wind projects in the New York Bight, marking the largest lease sale of its kind in United States history and the first under the Biden administration. As we grow the clean economy, offshore wind will become a key part of the country’s energy future. The administration has announced a final sale notice (FSN) ahead of the February 2022 auction that includes high-road labor requirements—which will mean good-paying, safe, union jobs for workers—for the building of offshore wind facilities in the New York Bight.
The FSN stipulates that lessees are to make every reasonable effort to enter into a project labor agreement covering the construction stage of any project proposed for the Lease Areas. Lessees must also establish plans for contributing to the creation of a robust and resilient U.S.-based offshore wind industry supply chain. The FSN incentivizes the lessee to procure major offshore wind energy components domestically. For the Lease Areas, BOEM will set the fee rate at 0.02 (i.e., 2%) for the entire life of commercial operations. Should the lessee satisfy the terms of the stipulation by meaningfully and substantially assembling or manufacturing major components in the United States, they may be eligible for a 1% operating fee rate for a period of five years. In April 2021, the BlueGreen Alliance called for high-road job and supply chain stipulations in comments to BOEM and also advocated over a dozen times throughout additional BOEM comment periods.
In response to this announcement, the BlueGreen Alliance released the following statement from Executive Director Jason Walsh:
“This is a major first step to fulfill the promise of offshore wind in America. The introduction of large-scale offshore wind projects is overdue and will have a significant impact on the future of our energy systems. We applaud and thank the administration for not only promoting necessary clean energy projects, but for also ensuring that these projects lead to good-paying, unionized jobs that will directly support the communities they impact.
“The work of the BlueGreen Alliance and our partners and allies on the ground has been instrumental in advocating for responsibly developed offshore wind for years. Through our collective work we helped ensure the administration lifts up job quality and grows the supply chain for this emerging industry.
“Our nation’s future, and a future in which we successfully address climate change, must follow the model set by this announcement. We can build the clean energy economy, fight climate change, and provide American workers with the good-paying, union jobs they need—all at the same time. We look forward to seeing this project through to completion and for the Biden administration to approve many more like it.”