Wind energy from the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) could be powering nearly 3 million homes in the region’s coastal states by the end of the decade after Washington Monday finalised two zones for offshore development with the potential of 8.5GW of plant.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), regulator of energy development on the federal outer continental shelf (OCS), formally designated one wind energy area (WEA) off the coast of Louisiana, the other off Texas, covering a combined 700,000 acres (2,832km2) of shallow Gulf waters.