Winners announced in California wind lease sale, bids hit USD 757m
The Triton Knoll offshore wind farm. Source: RWE AG.
Five developers have been selected as provisional winners of the California offshore wind lease auction, which lured competitive high bids totalling USD 757.1 million (EUR 721.1m), the US Department of the Interior announced on Wednesday.
The lease sale covers three areas off central California and two sites off northern California, of about 373,268 acres (151,056 ha) in total. The areas have the potential to accommodate more than 4.6 GW of offshore turbine capacity.
RWE Offshore Wind Holding LLC has offered USD 157.7 million for OCS-P 0561 – a 63,338-acre site near Humboldt Bay in Northern California. The German power major estimates the potential of the area at up to 1.6 GW, enough to power 640,000 US homes with clean energy. The wind park is expected to be in operation by the mid-2030s.
The second lot in the same area, OCS-P 0562, was secured by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), through its subsidiary California North Floating. With a bid of USD 173.8 million, the latter was named provisional winner for the 69,031-acre site that has the potential to host more than 1.0 GW, according to CIP.
In central Morro Bay in Central California, Equinor Wind US has won OCS-P 0563, covering 80,062 acres, with a bid of USD 130 million. The unit of Norwegian energy major Equinor estimates the secured area has the potential to accommodate around 2 GW of turbines. If installed, their output will be enough to supply 750,000 local homes.
Central California Offshore Wind, a unit of Ocean Winds, will pay USD 150.3 million for the 80,418-acre OCS-P 0564 site. Ocean Winds, a joint venture between France's Engie and Portugal's EDP Renewables, expects its area to become home to 2 GW of wind power capacity.
Last but not least, Invenergy California Offshore has quoted a price of USD 145.3 million for OCS-P 0565, which also spans 80,418 acres.
The auction was initiated on December 6. A total of 43 eligible bidders were qualified to participate, among them Avangrid Renewables LLC, EDPR Offshore North America LLC, and Shell New Energies US LLC.
The lease sale is the third auction for offshore wind acreage in US waters in 2022. In February, BOEM concluded an auction for acreage in the New York Bight, followed by a sale for two areas in the Carolina Long Bay.
Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.