After Northland Power withdrew from the upcoming US offshore wind auction for a site off Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Outer Banks Ocean Energy and Shell, which are also among the nine eligible bidders for the area, will not participate in the commercial lease sale to be held on 16 March, the Triangle Business Journal writes.
When contacted by Offshore WIND, a Shell spokesman said: "Shell continues to explore opportunities which are a good fit for our New Energies portfolio. Shell received regulatory approval to bid on the North Carolina – Kitty Hawk offshore lease area. Our assessment of the attractiveness of the opportunity did not merit to further pursue participation in the lease sale.
"Shell is committed to its global Wind business, and is actively exploring and evaluating opportunities to best optimize its asset mix to deliver the greatest value to shareholders. We have invested in wind in the past, and we intend to continue to invest in new opportunities in the future."
When it comes to wind farms at sea, the oil and gas company seems to be more interested in the opportunities across the Atlantic, after winning the Dutch tender for Borssele III & IV sites. “We are looking long and hard at how we might build a business in offshore wind,” Bloomberg quoted Shell’s UK Chair Sinead Lynch last month, as it reported on Shell's plans to build offshore wind farms in the UK and other European countries.
With the three companies possibly out of the picture, the auction could see AVANGRID Renewables, Enbridge Holdings (Green Energy), Wind Future, PNE Wind USA, wpd offshore Alpha and Statoil placing bids next week.
The competition would not be less fierce even in this case, as Statoil holds the record-breaking winning bid for the New York offshore wind site from December 2016, and AVANGRID might have a "deeper wallet" with its mother company Iberdrola recently setting aside a EUR 1 billion more to invest in renewables by 2020, with a special spotlight on the United States.
Offshore WIND Staff