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Fourteen companies qualify for New York offshore wind lease sale

Published 28 October 2016

Fourteen companies from the US and Europe have qualified to participate in the 15 December federal auction for about 700MW New York offshore wind zone.

The area under consideration will include 79,350 acres and it will start about 11.5 nautical miles from Jones Beach, New York. From the western edge, the area will extend about 24 nautical miles southeast.

The lease area will include five full Outer Continental Shelf blocks and 143 sub-blocks.

Fourteen companies have been deemed to have the legal, technical and financial qualifications to participate in the upcoming lease.

The companies include Avangrid, CI-II NY, Dong Energy, Innogy, wpd offshore, Energy Management, Convalt, Clean Power Northeast Development, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, Statoil, EDF Renewable Development, Fishermen’s Energy and Sea Breeze Energy.

US Department of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said: “Today’s announcement not only marks another milestone for the US offshore wind energy program, but also demonstrates how our collaborative efforts with state, local and private sector partners can advance a clean energy future in the United States.

“Industry interest remains strong with more than a dozen qualified bidders as we take another step closer to harnessing the enormous potential of offshore wind energy for Atlantic coastal communities.” 

BOEM said until now, it has issued eleven commercial wind leases including nine leases through competitive lease sale process. These have generated about $16m in winning bids for million acres in federal waters.

The agency received comments on environmental assessment and removed about 1780 acres from the lease area because of environmental concerns about seafloor features known as Cholera Bank.

According to the National Marine Fisheries Service, regions with Cholera Bank seafloor need to be avoided for placement of structures. The removed area represents about 2% of area from the originally proposed region.

Apart from this, the BOEM has also included a lease requirement for the development of publicly available Fisheries Communication Plan and to works with fisheries Liaison to facilitate communication.

BOEM Director Abigail Ross Hopper said: “New York is a critical component in building a robust US offshore wind industry.

“The process to develop and refine the New York lease area, as well as the online auction, reflects the deep commitment BOEM has to listening and responding to stakeholders and ensuring that all voices are heard as we forge a path to a clean energy future.”

Image: Interior Department to auction over 79,000 acres offshore New York for wind energy development. Photo: Courtesy of xedos4/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.