The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has prequalified 16 companies for tomorrow’s (11 May) Carolina Long Bay lease sale. Among the names on the list of eligible bidders are once again European oil majors and offshore wind developers, who are now joined by the Japanese developer JERA and the UAE-based Masdar.
BOEM announced the wind energy auction date in March, after completing an environment review, and determined 16 entities were legally, technically, and financially qualified to hold a commercial wind lease in the Wilmington East Lease Area offshore North Carolina and South Carolina.
The companies and consortia BOEM deemed qualified to bid are:
- 547 Energy LLC
- Arevia Power LLC
- Avangrid Renewables, LLC
- BP US Offshore Wind Energy LLC
- Invenergy Long Bay Offshore LLC
- Carolina Offshore Wind LLC
- Duke Energy Renewables Wind, LLC
- EDF Renewables Development, Inc.
- JERA Renewables NA, LLC
- Masdar Offshore Wind Americas LLC
- MRP Offshore Wind Farm LLC
- Ørsted North America Inc.
- OW North America Ventures LLC
- RWE Offshore Wind Holdings, LLC
- Shell New Energies US LLC
- TotalEnergies Renewables USA, LLC
However, the agency noted that the eligible bidders’ final participation in the lease sale was subject to meeting further requirements outlined in the Final Sale Notice (FSN), which included submitting a Bidder’s Financial Form (BFF) by 11 April and making a USD 2 million bid deposit until 25 April.
Bidders that filed a BFF and bid deposit on time were then invited to participate in a mock auction BOEM held on 6 May, in preparation for the lease sale scheduled for 11 May.
The offshore wind developers will be able to bid on one or both of the lease blocks in the lease area, OCS-A 0545 and OCS-A 0546, which together cover 110,091 acres in the Carolina Long Bay and could accommodate at least 1.3 GW of installed offshore wind capacity.
The lease sale for the Wilmington East Lease Area comprises several stipulations designed to promote the development of a robust domestic US supply chain, advance flexibility in transmission planning, and encourage project labor agreements, DOI said.
Among the stipulations, BOEM will offer a 20 per cent credit to bidders if they commit to invest in programmes that will advance US offshore wind energy workforce training or supply chain development.
To advance BOEM’s communication and environmental justice goals, the leases will also require lessees to identify Tribal Nations, underserved communities, agencies, ocean users, and other interested stakeholders, and report on their communication and engagement activities with these parties.
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