DOI Schedules Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Lease Sale

on July 14, 2014 at 10:00 AM

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DOI has scheduled a lease sale for approximately 80,000 acres in the Maryland Wind Energy Area, estimated to support up to 1,450 MW of commercial wind generation.

On July 3, 2014, the Department of Interior (DOI) announced that approximately 80,000 acres offshore Maryland will be offered for commercial wind energy development in an August 19 competitive lease sale.  The Maryland Wind Energy Area is located approximately 10 nautical miles off the coast of Ocean City, Maryland.  Drawing on the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory analysis, DOI notes that the Maryland Wind Energy Area could support 850MW to 1,450 MW of commercial wind generation, enough to supply 300,000 homes.


Maryland Offshore Wind Lease Areas (BOEM)

DOI’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will auction the Maryland Wind Energy Area as two leases – the North lease Area of 32,737 acres and South Lease Area of 46,970 acres.  It will consider monetary and non-monetary factors, such as power purchase agreements (PPAs) and Maryland Public Service Commission-issued Offshore Renewable Energy Certificates, to determine the winner.  The auction’s non-monetary phase will begin on August 15 and monetary phase on August 19.  The two lease areas will be auctioned simultaneously through an online bidding system.  According to DOI, 16 companies have qualified to participate in the auction.

DOI’s announcement builds on its Smart from the Start initiative to foster sustainable offshore wind energy development off the Atlantic Coast.  To date, BOEM has awarded five commercial wind leases off the Atlantic Coast, including three competitive lease sales which have generated more than $5M in high bids for more than 277,500 offshore acres.

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