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Reported by U.S. Department of the Interior on 14 December 2018

BIDDING BONANZA! Trump Administration Smashes Record for Offshore Wind Auction with $405 Million in Winning Bids

Three companies claim winning bids for Massachusetts offshore wind. Areas could support approximately 4.1 gigawatts of commercial wind generation, enough to power nearly 1.5 million homes.​

Map: Offshore Wind Project Areas (Courtesy of U.S. Department of the Interior)

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Acting Director Walter Cruickshank today announced the completion of the nation’s eighth and highest grossing competitive lease sale for renewable energy in federal waters. Today’s lease sale offered approximately 390,000 acres offshore Massachusetts for potential wind energy development and drew competitive winning bids from three companies totaling approximately $405 million in winning bids. If fully developed, the areas could support approximately 4.1 gigawatts of commercial wind generation, enough electricity to power nearly 1.5 million homes.

“To anyone who doubted that our ambitious vision for energy dominance would not include renewables, today we put that rumor to rest,” said Secretary Zinke. “With bold leadership, faster, streamlined environmental reviews, and a lot of hard work with our states and fishermen, we’ve given the wind industry the confidence to think and bid big.”

The provisional winners of today’s lease sale are (Provisional Winner / Lease Area / Acres / Winning Bid):

  • Equinor Wind US, LLC / OCS-A 0520 / 128,811 / $135,000,000.00
  • Mayflower Wind Energy, LLC / OCS-A 0521 / 127,388 / $135,000,000.00
  • Vineyard Wind, LLC / OCS-A 0522 / 132,370 / $135,000,000.00

The following companies participated in today’s lease sale:

  • Cobra Industrial Services, Inc.
  • East Wind, LLC
  • EC&R Development, LLC
  • EDF Renewables Development, Inc.
  • Equinor Wind US, LLC
  • Innogy US Renewable Projects, LLC
  • Mayflower Wind Energy, LLC
  • Northeast Wind Energy, LLC
  • PNE WIND USA, Inc.
  • Vineyard Wind, LLC
  • wpd offshore Alpha, LLC

The three lease areas auctioned today are located 19.8 nautical miles from Martha’s Vineyard, 16.7 nautical miles from Nantucket, and 44.5 nautical miles from Block Island. A map of the lease areas can be found here.

“This auction will further the Administration’s comprehensive effort to secure the nation’s energy future,” said BOEM Acting Director Cruickshank. “The Commonwealth of Massachusetts and members of the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Task Force have been great partners throughout this process. We look forward to working with them and the lessees as we move forward with next steps for developing offshore wind energy in a responsible manner.”

Before the lease is executed, the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission will conduct an anti-competitiveness review of the auction, and the provisional winner will be required to pay the winning bid and provide financial assurance to BOEM.

The lease will have a preliminary term of one year, during which the lessee may submit a Site Assessment Plan (SAP) to BOEM for approval. The SAP will describe the facilities (e.g., meteorological towers or buoys) a lessee plans to install or deploy for the assessment of the wind resources and ocean conditions of its commercial lease area.

Following approval of a SAP, the lessee will then have four and a half years to submit a Construction and Operations Plan (COP) to BOEM for approval. This plan will provide a detailed proposal for the construction and operation of a wind energy project within the lease area.

Once BOEM receives a COP, it will conduct an environmental review of the proposed project and reasonable alternatives. Public input will be an important part of BOEM’s review process. If BOEM approves the COP, the lessee will then have a term of 33 years to construct and operate the project.

Before today’s lease sale, the highest grossing offshore wind lease sale was held in December 2016 for the lease area offshore New York that received a winning bid of over $42 million.

After today’s auction, BOEM has 15 active wind leases. These lease sales have generated more than $473 million in winning bids for nearly two million acres in federal waters. Money received from offshore wind lease sales go to the United States Treasury.

For more information on today’s auction, visit BOEM’s webpage: https://www.boem.gov/Massachusetts/

References

[1]

U.S. Department of the Interior. Press release - BIDDING BONANZA! Trump Administration Smashes Record for Offshore Wind Auction with $405 Million in Winning Bids. URL: https://www.doi.gov/pressreleases/bidding-bonanza-trump-administration-smashes-r.... [Date Accessed: 14/12/2018].

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