On June 8, 2021, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management issued a Request for Interest (RFI) to assess interest in possible commercial wind energy leasing in the Gulf of Mexico OCS. BOEM will consider the information received in response to the RFI to determine whether to schedule a competitive lease sale or issue a noncompetitive lease for any portion of the area descried in the RFI. The area covered by the RFI comprises the entire Central Planning Area and Western Planning Area of the Gulf of Mexico, excluding portions of those areas located in water depths greater than 1,300 meters.
Issuance of the RFI comes in advance of the first scheduled meeting of the Gulf of Mexico Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force on June 15, 2021. The focus of the meeting is to facilitate coordination among federal, state, local, and tribal governments regarding the wind energy leasing process in the Gulf of Mexico.
The information sought through the RFI includes: available and pertinent data and information concerning renewable energy resources and environmental conditions; information about potentially conflicting uses of the RFI Area, including navigation, significant sediment resource areas, and oil and gas leasing; and relevant socioeconomic, cultural, biological, and environmental information. Comments in response to the RFI are due within 45 days of publication of the RFI in the Federal Register.