Martha's Vineyard, MA - Initially announced in October, an auction for 390,000 acres of Federally-owned coastal ocean for the purpose of off-shore wind energy began this morning. Areas starting from about 20 nautical miles from Martha's Vineyard will soon be the new site of a massive renewable energy source, as 19 pre-approved companies compete to earn the leasing rights for this region.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is an agency of the United States Department of the Interior which was established in 2010 by Secretarial Order during the Obama Administration. The Agency's mandate is to handle issues relating to the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) which outlines the use and development of national resources in America's continental shelf, held by the Federal Government.

Today's auction is a larger project overseen by the BOEM, with potential of as much as 4.1 gigawatts - sufficient to power roughly 1.5 million homes.

The lease region is about 16.7 nautical miles from Nantucket, 20 nautical miles from Martha's Vineyard, and 44.5 nautical miles from Block Island.

Image Courtesy of Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)