Floating wind turbines could solve the technological challenges that topographical features along the West Coast present, such as the deep drop in water depth along its continental shelves.

The Department of the Interior announced this week that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will assess areas in federal waters near Coos Bay and Brookings, both about 14 miles from the Oregon coast, as potential sites for offshore wind farms.

The project is an opportunity to help “make the West Coast a floating wind technology capital of the world,” said BOEM Director Amanda Lefton.

The sites encompass an area spanning over 1.1 million acres near the south and south-central coast of Oregon. The calls for commercial interest and public comment will help BOEM identify technological constraints, areas of high wind speed, sensitive marine habitats, and potential impacts on commercial fisheries.

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