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US offshore wind power bids exceed $ 1.5 billion

The largest-ever US sale of offshore wind development rights off the coast of New York and New Jersey raised a record $ 1.5 billion bid on Wednesday, supporting President Joe Biden’s creation of a new domestic industry. ..

The auction following Thursday is the first under Byden to create tens of thousands of offshore winds, laying the groundwork for plans to tackle global warming by 2035 and decarbonize the US power grid by expanding offshore winds. Offshore wind leasing sale. jobs.

After 21 rounds of bidding, the total live bid for the six leases was approximately $ 1.54 billion, according to the latest information posted on the US Department of Marine Energy Management (BOEM) website.

This easily surpassed the $ 405 million US offshore wind auction record set in 2018. It was also much more than the recent oil and gas auctions in the US federal waters. For example, the sale of drilling rights in the Gulf of Mexico at the end of last year resulted in a high bid of $ 191.7 million.

BOEM said 14 companies participated in the auction. According to a government document released last month, the website did not identify competitors for leasing, but approved bidders include businesses managed by Equinor ASA, Avangrid Inc, BP Plc, Eletricite de France SA and others. The body was included.

By the end of the day, five of the six leases offered had won bids well above the $ 135.1 million record set for a single US offshore wind lease in 2018.

The highest bid was $ 410 million for a 32 mile (52 km) lease off New Jersey. The government has identified 114 acres (46 hectares) of area (the largest area offered for sale) that can produce electricity for more than 485,000 homes.

Strong interest in auctions shows a major step forward in US offshore wind power, which lags European countries in developing technology. Currently, the United States has two small offshore wind farms off the coast of Rhode Island and Virginia, as well as two additional commercial-scale projects that have recently been approved for development.

BOEM offers 488,201 acres in the shallow waters between New York’s Long Island and New Jersey (a region known as New York Bay).

This area is 22% smaller than the area originally proposed last summer due to concerns about the impact of development on commercial fishing and military interests.

“Sufficient wind to power millions of homes”

The government says the energy generated from the newly provided areas could one day power about 2 million households.

Last year, the Biden administration set a goal of installing 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind along the country’s coastline by 2030. That’s enough to power 10 million households. Much of the current development is taking place off the coast of the northeastern state.

New York and New Jersey have set a goal of building more than 16 GW of offshore wind power by 2035, with Wednesday’s leased area (20-69 nautical miles from the coast, according to BOEM). It may be able to provide more than one-third of its capacity. ..

“This is enough wind to power millions of homes,” Ed Potosnack, managing director of the New Jersey Conservation Voters’ Federation, said in an interview. “That’s a big deal in about 9 million states.”

Not everyone supports offshore wind development. The Biden administration’s ambitions have raised concerns among commercial fishermen and coastal communities about the harm to their livelihoods and property values.

In January, a group of New Jersey residents filed a suit against BOEM for a New York Bay rental plan. Groups from the summer colonies on Long Beach Island are worried about the aesthetic impact of turbines and potentially lost tourism.

Greg Cadnick, owner of the Long Beach Island fishing charter boat business, is worried about what thousands of wind turbines will do to marine habitats.

“I don’t see any net benefit in everything this is happening and at risk,” Caddnick said.

(Report by Nicola Groom in Los Angeles and Christine Kiernan of Ship Bottom, NJ, edited by Bill Berkrot, Diane Craft, Richard Pullin)

https://www.oedigital.com/news/494553-u-s-offshore-wind-lease-sale-bids-top-1-5b-with-more-to-come US offshore wind power bids exceed $ 1.5 billion

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