Who are the US Offshore Wind lease sale winners, and what can you expect from the sector?

March 4, 2022

US Offshore Wind

Source: Pilotsevas/Shutterstock

Considered as the nation's highest-grossing offshore energy lease sale in history, including oil and gas lease sales, the New York Bight offshore wind sale drew competitive winning bids from six companies totalling approximately $4.37 billion. These results are a significant milestone towards achieving the goal of 30GW of offshore wind energy by 2030.

It was the first US Offshore Wind lease auction organised under the Biden-Harris administration, which sees the expansion of the clean industry as a way to tackle climate change and create thousands of new jobs.

The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) offered six lease areas across more than 480,000 acres in the New York Bight, between New York's Long Island and New Jersey. This could add up to 7GW of capacity to the country's energy mix, powering nearly 2 million homes.

Provisional winners

Under the auction rules, each company could only win one lease. Bight Wind Holdings, a joint venture of National Grid and RWE Renewables, secured the largest of the six sites for $1.1 billion. It has the potential of up to 3GW.

Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind Bight, owned by EDF Renewables and Shell; Invenergy Wind Offshore; OW Ocean Winds East, a joint venture between Engie and EDP Renewables; Attentive Energy, a subsidiary of TotalEnergies; and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners' Mid-Atlantic Offshore Wind secured the other.

Providional winners_mapSource: Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)

Before the leases are finalised, the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission will conduct a review of the auction. The provisional winners will be required to pay the winning bids and provide financial assurance to the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).

Clean energy economy and green jobs

According to BOEM Director Amanda Lefton, the department understands the value of meaningful community engagement, so it requires lessees to report their engagement activities, specifically noting how they're incorporating any feedback into their future plans.

The New York Bight offshore wind leases sale include stipulations designed to promote the development of a robust domestic supply chain and enhance engagement with Tribes, the commercial fishing industry, and underserved communities.

Some stipulations include incentives to source significant components domestically – such as blades, turbines and foundations – and enter into project labour agreements to ensure projects are union-built.

Secretary Haaland, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, and New York Governor Kathy Hochul published a shared vision to establish the US as a major global offshore wind energy market player.

Two commercial-scale offshore wind projects

The Biden-Administration has already made significant progress in the sector, approving the groundbreaking of the nation's first two commercial-scale offshore wind farms in federal waters: the 800MW Vineyard Wind project and the 130MW South Fork Wind project.

According to the US Department of the Interior, BOEM expects to review at least 16 plans to construct and operate commercial offshore wind energy facilities by 2025. It would represent more than 22GW of clean energy for the nation.

Read more about All eyes on record US Offshore Wind lease auction and US offshore wind projects and skills needed for the ‘Green New Deal’

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This post was written by: Nana Terra, Content Marketing Coordinator