Mayflower Wind Energy could bring its Massachusetts offshore wind farm into operation by the mid-2020s, the company stated following the announcement of the provisional lease winners on 14 December.
The company, which is a joint venture between Shell and EDP Renewables, said that its OCS-A 0521 lease area could accommodate a total generation capacity of approximately 1.6GW, enough to power more than 680,000 households with clean electricity each year.
A growing population and rising living standards alongside the need for a reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions will require changes to the energy system. Given this changing energy landscape, Shell is seeking commercial opportunities to expand its existing electricity generation from renewable power, including offshore wind, with the aim of providing customers with more and cleaner energy."
Equinor (formerly known as Statoil), another oil and gas player with a soft spot for renewables – and the developer of the world's first operational floating wind farm – said that the new lease was part of its commitment to taking a leadership position in renewable energy development in the U.S.
In December 2016, Equinor won the federal lease auction of 80,000 acres south of New York and east of New Jersey. The company said it was developing projects in that lease area for the offshore wind markets in both states; Empire Wind in New York and Boardwalk Wind in New Jersey. In total, Equinor’s U.S. offshore wind portfolio now has the potential to power more than two million homes with renewable power.
Unlike its two fellow lease winners, Vineyard Wind, held by Avangrid Renewables (a U.S. subsidiary of Spanish company Iberdrola) and Denmark's Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), did not go into details in its statement after the U.S. Bureau of Offshore Energy Management (BOEM) announced the company is the provisional winner for the lease area OCS-A 0522.
Vineyard Wind is excited to expand our offshore wind presence in the waters offshore New England. We are grateful to BOEM for working for many years with stakeholders – including the fishing industry, environmentalists, wildlife experts, and local communities – who helped identify this wind lease area as an appropriate location to generate clean energy. Vineyard Wind is committed to continue working with all of these stakeholders, BOEM, and the states in continuing to build a new industry for the region and making substantial contributions to fighting climate change. This new project lease area will allow us to grow our existing local partnerships, as we continue to apply a community-oriented development approach to our activities.”
The three Massachusetts areas awarded in the latest lease sale could jointly support approximately 4.1GW of commercial wind generation.