The federal government is speeding up its process of identifying and leasing ocean areas for generating offshore wind power because the industry is showing strong demand, and because of the urgency of the climate crisis, the government’s top offshore wind official said Wednesday.

Amanda Lefton, director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, said officials will auction new wind-energy areas off the central Atlantic coast much more quickly than they did with areas in the New York Bight between New Jersey and New York. Read More from NJ Spotlight News.