Nearly 165,000 acres on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf off the shores of Rhode Island and Massachusetts will be made available for renewable energy leases through an auction scheduled for July 31, the Obama administration announced.
The area is south of Newport, R.I., east of Block Island and southwest of Martha’s Vineyard. The federal government’s first-ever competitive lease sale is designed to attract commercial wind energy developers.
The area marked for leases is about 9.2 miles south of the Rhode Island coastline and the area will be auctioned as two leases, one for an area covering 97,500 acres and a second with about 67,250 acres. Citing a recently released report, federal officials estimated the areas together have the potential to deliver nearly 3,400 megawatts of electricity, or enough to power more than 1 million homes.