DOI Schedules Wind Energy Lease Sale Offshore Massachusetts

on December 08, 2014 at 10:30 AM

Report Claims 20 Percent Of US's Energy Could Come From Wind Power

The DOI will offer approximately 742,000 acres offshore Massachusetts for commercial wind energy development in a competitive lease sale scheduled for January 29, 2015.


Massachusetts Wind Energy Area (BOEM)

On November 26, 2014, the Department of Interior’s (DOI) Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) published a notice to offer approximately 742,000 acres of the Massachusetts Wind Energy Area (WEA) for commercial wind energy development in a competitive lease sale scheduled for January 29, 2015. The BOEM will auction the Massachusetts WEA in four leases – Lease OCS-A 0500 (187,523 acres), Lease OCS-A 0501 (166,886 acres), Lease OCS-A 0502 (248,015 acres), and Lease OCS-A 0503 (140,554 acres).  The auction represents the fourth competitive renewable energy lease sale on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) and is expected to be the largest in federal waters; it will almost double the federal offshore acreage available for commercial-scale wind projects.

Based on the Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory analysis, DOI expects the Massachusetts WEA to support 4 GW to 5 GW of commercial wind generation, capable of powering more than 1.4 million homes. The Massachusetts WEA begins approximately 12 nautical miles south of Martha’s Vineyard and 13 nautical miles southwest of Nantucket. It extends 33 nautical miles south from its northern boundary and has an east/west extent of approximately 47 nautical miles.  The available area is identical to the proposed sale notice published in June with a 60-day comment period.

According to BOEM, 12 companies have qualified for the auction – Deepwater Wind New England LLC; EDF Renewable Development Inc; Energy Management Inc; Fishermen’s Energy LLC; Green Sail Energy LLC; Iberdrola Renewables Inc; NRG Bluewater Wind Massachusetts LLC; OffshoreMW LLC; RES America Developments Inc; Sea Breeze Energy LLC; US Mainstream Renewable Power (Offshore) Inc; and U.S. Wind Inc. The sale notice provides information regarding monetary and nonmonetary factors in determining the winner. It specifies deadlines and milestones for bidders, available lease area, lease provisions and conditions, auction details, bid evaluation criteria, award procedures, and lease execution, among other details.

The BOEM has awarded seven commercial offshore wind leases to date including five competitive leases that have generated more than $14M in high bids for more than 357,500 acres.  BOEM plans to auction additional wind energy areas offshore New Jersey in 2015.

Originally published by EnerKnol.

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