Statoil claims NY prize
UPDATE: 'Highly attractive project' could host more than 1GW offshore wind
Norwegian energy giant Statoil has won the fiercely contested auction for the 800MW-plus New York offshore wind lease area.
The developer outlasted five rivals to claim the prize with a high bid of $42.5m, almost five times the previous record of $8.7m paid by Renexia/US Wind in 2014 for the Maryland site.
“We are excited to have submitted the most competitive bid in a highly attractive project, Statoil’s first offshore wind lease in the United States,” said Statoil executive VP for new energy solutions Irene Rummelhoff.
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management director Abigail Ross Hopper said: “We are extremely pleased by the results of this lease sale.
“We have seen robust competitive interest for this auction, as evidenced by 33 rounds of bidding – the most we have seen for any of our lease sales to date,” she added.
Six companies competed in the auction, which spilled over into a second day.
The other bidders were developers Dong, Iberdrola business Avangrid, Innogy and wpd as well as the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.
Statoil expects the 32,000-hectare lease area could accommodate more than 1GW of offshore wind and plans to start with a first phase of 400MW to 600MW.
The developer plans to conduct studies on seabed conditions, grid connection options and wind resources.
“We will work closely with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority on these studies and throughout the permitting process, and in connection with power offtake options,” said Rummelhoff.
The site starts about 30km off the coast of Long Island and has water depths between 20m to 40m.
The BOEM auctions have raised $58.5m to date, including the New York sale. Commercial leases were previously awarded for areas off the coasts of Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Virginia.
BOEM expects to auction the Kitty Hawk lease area off the coast of North Carolina next year and planning is underway for sites off South Carolina, California and Hawaii.
Image: 30MW Block Island project is first US offshore wind farm (Deepwater Wind)