Record-Shattering Massachusetts Offshore Wind Auction Enters Day Two

Three commercial wind leases offshore Massachusetts have brought in a total of USD 285 million in bids in the first 24 auction rounds, sending a strong signal that developers are committed to the US offshore wind market.

The US Bureau of Offshore Energy Management (BOEM) will continue what is a record-shattering auction on Friday, 14 December, at 9:00 am ET. The previous auction record of USD 42.5 million was set by Equinor (formerly Statoil) during the New York auction in December 2016.

Currently, two bidders are competing for the lease OCS-A 0520 which has so far brought in USD 93 million. The bid for the lease OCS-A 0521 stands at USD 91 million with two bidders still in play, and the lease OCS-A 0522 bid stood at USD 89 million and two developers competing in the Round 23, with zero bidders for the lease in Round 24 and the price tag of USD 101 million.

Source: BOEM

The three lease areas auctioned off are located 19.8 nautical miles from Martha’s Vineyard, 16.7 nautical miles from Nantucket, and 44.5 nautical miles from Block Island.

If fully developed, the areas being offered could support approximately 4.1GW of commercial wind generation.

The Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Lands Act requires BOEM to award leases competitively unless BOEM determines there is no competitive interest. In December 2016 and January 2017, Statoil Wind US LLC (now Equinor Wind US) and PNE Wind USA, Inc., individually submitted unsolicited lease requests for previously unleased areas in the wind energy area offshore Massachusetts.

Lease area OCS-A 0502 is approximately 248,015 acres and lease area OCS-A 0503 is approximately 140,554 acres. Due to the fact that both parties had nominated the same area and that both entities had qualified to hold an OCS lease, BOEM determined that competitive interest existed and the competitive leasing process outlined in BOEM’s regulations started.

Adnan Duraković, Offshore WIND Staff