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UPDATE - Bids reach USD 405m in Massachusetts offshore wind lease auction

A picture from Cathie Associates visit to the US’ first commercial offshore wind farm; Block Island.

December 15 (Renewables Now) - Equinor Wind, Vineyard Wind and Mayflower Wind Energy are the successful bidders in the auction for offshore wind leases off Massachusetts concluded on Friday, with the combined value of their final proposals reaching USD 405.1 million (EUR 357.5m).

Vineyard Wind is a 50/50 partnership between Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) and Avangrid Renewables LLC, and Mayflower Wind is a 50/50 joint venture between EDPR Offshore North America LLC and Shell New Energies US LLC.

The final bids for two of the leases stood at USD 135 million, while the third hit USD 135.1 million. The combined area of the three leases is about 390,000 acres (157,800 ha) south of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. They could accommodate about 4.1 GW of capacity to supply nearly 1.5 million homes, if fully developed.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) started the auction on Thursday, when after 24 rounds of bidding, the offers for the three areas reached USD 285 million. The final 32nd round on Friday saw the combined value of the bids jump to USD 405.1 million. This is nearly 10 times Equinor ASA's (NYSE:EQNR) record-smashing bid of USD 42.5 million at end-2016 for the right to build a wind farm off New York.

“Today’s phenomenal sale results eclipse the results of all seven previous US offshore lease sales combined and demonstrate that not only has offshore wind arrived in the US, but it is clearly set to soar,” said Randall Luthi, president of the National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA). The organisation continues to call on BOEM to prepare an offshore wind leasing plan with at least four 500-MW lease sales per year and a 20-GW offshore wind target by 2034.

“[..] with the exception of a sales proposed offshore New York or potentially California in 2020, there aren’t any future lease sales scheduled, leaving nothing upon which developers can plan future investments,” Luthi added.

(USD 1 = EUR 0.88)

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Browse all articles from Tsvetomira Tsanova

Tsvet has been following the development of the global renewable energy industry for seven years now. She's got a soft spot for emerging markets.

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