U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Abigail Ross Hopper yesterday announced that an area of 343,833 acres (cca. 1,391km²) seven nautical miles off the New Jersey coast will be offered for commercial wind energy development in a competitive lease sale on November 9, 2015.
The New Jersey Wind Energy Area will be auctioned as two leases. Lease OCS-A 0498 (i.e., South Lease Area) consists of 160,480 acres; and Lease OCS-A 0499 (i.e., North Lease Area) consists of 183,353 acres.
If fully developed, the New Jersey Wind Energy Area could support at least 3,400 megawatts of commercial wind generation, enough to power an estimated 1.2 million homes, according to the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
“On the heels of this summer’s historic ‘steel-in-the-water’ milestone for the nation’s first commercial offshore wind farm, today’s announcement marks another major step in standing up a sustainable offshore wind program for Atlantic coast communities,” Secretary Jewell said. “This effort took significant engagement and cooperation with New Jersey and other stakeholders to advance clean energy development and reduce potential use conflicts, which moves us closer to harnessing the enormous potential of wind energy along the Atlantic coast.”
Director Hopper said: “We will continue to work closely with members of the New Jersey Renewable Energy Task Force to ensure that our intergovernmental partners remain informed on the next steps proposed by the winners of this auction.”
To date, BOEM has determined that the following energy development companies are legally, technically and financially qualified to participate in the upcoming New Jersey lease sale:
- Convalt Energy LLC
- GSOE I LLC
- EDF Renewable Energy Development Inc.
- Energy Management Inc.
- Fishermen’s Energy LLC
- Green Sail Energy LLC
- IBERDROLA RENEWABLES Inc.
- New Jersey Offshore Wind LLC
- OffshoreMW LLC
- RES America Developments Inc.
- Sea Breeze Energy LLC
- US Mainstream Renewable Power (Offshore) Inc.
- U.S. Wind Inc.
The terms of the Final Sale Notice will be published in the Federal Register on September 25. Per the Final Sale Notice, BOEM will consider monetary and nonmonetary factors (i.e., whether a bidder has obtained a Power Purchase Agreement or New Jersey Offshore Renewable Energy Certificate award) in determining the winners. The notice further describes these requirements, as well as other relevant sale items, such as deadlines and milestones for bidders, the area available for leasing, lease provisions and conditions, auction details, criteria for evaluating bids, award procedures and lease execution.