March 13 (Renewables Now) - The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has received unsolicited lease requests from PNE Wind USA Inc and Statoil Wind US LLC for the development of offshore wind projects off the coasts of New York and Massachusetts.
The requests are not in response to a formal call for interest, BOEM said on Friday. The agency has determined that they are complete and the companies qualified to pursue offshore wind leases.
PNE Wind, the German wind developer, wants to develop a wind farm of some 300 MW-400 MW offshore New York. BOEM said if it decides to move forward with this application, it will issue a public notice to see whether competitive interest exists in the area.
Meanwhile, both PNE Wind and Norwegian energy group Statoil (STO:STLO) are interested in two adjacent previously unleased areas offshore Massachusetts. PNE Wind has submitted separate requests for the sites proposing projects of at least 400 MW at each site. Statoil is interested in the two areas in their entirety. It says the combined location has a multi-gigawatt potential and eyes the development of an initial phase of 400 MW-600 MW.
As PNE Wind and Statoil have submitted requests for the same area, BOEM has concluded there is competitive interest. The agency now plans to proceed with its competitive leasing process.
Although the US has just recently commissioned its first offshore wind farm, the 30-MW Block Island facility, the sector is attracting strong interest. In December, Statoil won an auction for a New York offshore wind lease with a record-smashing bid of USD 42.47 million (EUR 39.9m).
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.939)