Offshore wind farms planned on East, West coasts

BOSTON (AP) — The U.S. government is taking steps to develop offshore wind farms off both coasts.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced this week the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will hold an offshore wind auction Dec. 13 for nearly 390,000 acres of ocean off Massachusetts.

Zinke said the area, if fully developed, could supply power to nearly 1.5 million homes.

He also announced the bureau is opening its environmental review of a 15-turbine project off Long Island, New York, proposed by Deepwater Wind, operator of the nation's lone offshore commercial wind farm off Block Island, R.I. State regulators also have tapped Deepwater Wind to bring offshore wind power to Connecticut, which includes plans for New London's State Pier.

And in California, Zinke announced the bureau is seeking comment on possible areas for wind development off the state's central and northern coasts.

The administration hopes that will lead to the West Coast's first offshore wind auction.

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