The U.S. Department of the Interior proposed updating its rules for offshore wind development, a move that the agency said could save developers some $1 billion over a 20-year period.

The proposed regulations would aim to modernize regulations, streamline overly complex and burdensome processes, clarify ambiguous provisions and enhance compliance provisions in order to decrease costs and uncertainty associated with the deployment of offshore wind facilities.

“Updating these regulations will facilitate the safe and efficient development of offshore wind energy resources, provide certainty to developers and help ensure a fair return to the U.S. taxpayers,” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said in a statement.

Much has changed in the U.S. offshore wind industry since regulations were put in place more than a decade ago. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has conducted 11 auctions and currently manages 27 commercial leases.

Based on that experience, the department identified opportunities to modernize its regulations to facilitate the development of offshore wind energy resources to meet U.S. climate and renewable energy objectives.

The proposed rule contains eight major components, including:

Since the start of the Biden-Harris administration, BOEM has held three offshore wind lease auctions – including a record-breaking sale offshore New York and the first-ever sale offshore the West Coast in California, initiated environmental review of 10 offshore wind projects, and advanced the process to explore additional Wind Energy Areas in the Gulf of Mexico, Oregon, Gulf of Maine and Central Atlantic coast.

By 2025, the Interior Department, through BOEM, plans to potentially hold up to four additional offshore lease sales and complete the review of at least 16 plans to construct and operate commercial, offshore wind energy facilities, which would represent more than 22 GW of clean energy for the nation.

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