Feds Will Select Site of Wind Farm Off Oregon’s Coast by Next Summer

That’s no surprise to the readers of the Bandon Western World.

Wind farm off the coast of England. (Alan O'Neill)

On Oct. 13, the Biden administration announced plans for seven offshore wind farms along much of the nation’s coastline—including one in the Pacific Ocean off the Oregon Coast.

President Joe Biden intends to use wind turbines floating along the coastline to generate enough electricity to power over 10 million homes, Interior Secretary Deb Halaand said Wednesday.

Oregon’s role in this massive undertaking comes as no surprise to the readers of the Bandon Western World. That small newspaper in a scenic coastal town reported in July on the progress of federal plans for finding a location for the Oregon wind farm.

“In a June 23 presentation to the Curry County Board of Commissioners, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management outlined their process in identifying locations for some truly massive wind turbines,” the World reported, “the largest of which are taller than the Statue of Liberty and the Washington Monument at more than 850 feet—not to mention the span of the whirling blades—which can be longer than a football field.”

So where will these enormous turbines go? Short answer: We don’t know.

A trove of documents from the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management show that the site possibilities extend the full length of the Oregon coastline—although the South Coast is more likely, because winds blow stronger there.

Oregon Wind Farm Site Range Source: U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

The feds are now in the process of narrowing the site list, trying to keep the turbines from disturbing seabird colonies, crab harvests or whale migrations.

Documents first obtained by the Associated Press show BOEM aims to pick a site off Oregon’s coast by the middle of next year, and lease it to a private contractor by the fall of 2023.

If you want to look at every public document the feds’ Oregon task force has produced so far, there is a website.

Willamette Week’s reporting has concrete impacts that change laws, force action from civic leaders, and drive compromised politicians from public office. Support WW's journalism today.