NE4OSW Encouraged by the Release of Final Wind Energy Area in the Gulf of Maine

Kelt Wilska, New England for Offshore Wind, 617.963.0072

NE4OSW Encouraged by the Release of Final Wind Energy Area in the Gulf of Maine
Selected area totals about two million acres offshore Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire

AUGUSTA, Maine – March 15, 2024 – The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) released the Final Wind Energy Area in the Gulf of Maine today. This area can potentially host up to 32 GW of offshore wind energy, which will allow for more ambitious clean energy procurement goals from Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire in the future. New England for Offshore Wind (@NE4OSW) is encouraged by BOEM’s transparent and active stakeholder engagement and tribal consultation processes that allowed for significant exclusion zones for fisheries and Tribal Nations.

“BOEM’s announcement today reflects a major step forward for responsible and equitable offshore wind development in the Gulf of Maine,” said Kelt Wilska, Offshore Wind Director at the Environmental League of Massachusetts and Regional Lead for New England for Offshore Wind. “New England is once again setting a national model for reducing potential conflicts during project construction and respecting the critical role that heritage fishing industries play in our economy.” 

“This decision respects the importance of our fishing industries in our state’s economy and identity, while advancing our clean energy future,” said Kathleen Meil, Senior Director of Policy and Partnerships at Maine Conservation Voters and Maine State Lead for New England for Offshore Wind. “Offshore wind is a powerful solution to address the climate crisis, meet energy needs, and boost the economy all at once. Maine must continue our collaborative work to responsibly develop this new industry.”  

“We are extremely pleased that BOEM has heard the concerns of fishermen and their union allies by excluding critical lobster grounds from the siting of offshore wind, said Cynthia Phinney, President of the Maine AFL-CIO. “Offshore wind has the potential to transform our coastal economies with thousands of well-paying union jobs, make Maine more energy independent and substantially cut our climate pollution, but it’s crucial that these projects are sited properly so that our fishing communities are protected. We also want to recognize the incredibly hard work of organizing, advocacy and collaboration between Maine’s building trades unions, lobstermen, our environmental partners and our elected leaders to protect the livelihoods of fishing families while maximizing the transformative community benefits of offshore wind.” 


The Gulf of Maine is a thriving ecosystem that sustains many local economies and has some of the fastest wind speeds in the world. Thorough research, monitoring, and mitigation are imperative to ensuring responsible development in this region.  

Since BOEM kickstarted the planning and leasing process for potential offshore wind energy areas in the Gulf of Maine in 2019, there have been significant efforts to consult with Tribes and community, fisheries, labor, and environmental stakeholders. This comprehensive process has resulted in an 80% reduction from the initial planning area and a 43% reduction from the subsequent Draft WEA. The Final WEA excludes Lobster Management Area 1, a key fishing ground for Maine’s lobstering industry, and important habitats for the North Atlantic right whale. Additional efforts are in progress to avoid and minimize use of historic and cultural grounds of Tribal Nations in Maine. 

About New England for Offshore Wind

New England for Offshore Wind ( is a broad-based coalition of businesses and business associations, environmental and justice organizations, academic institutions, and labor unions committed to combatting climate change by increasing the supply of clean energy to our regional grid through more procurements of responsibly developed offshore wind. We believe that responsibly developed offshore wind is the single biggest lever we can pull to address the climate crisis while also strengthening our regional economy, protecting ratepayers, creating high quality jobs, and improving public health by reducing pollution.