US offshore wind power lease sale nets record $4.3 billion

US offshore wind power lease sale nets record $4.3 billion

US offshore wind power lease sale nets record $4.3 billion

Energy companies bid a record $4.37 billion on Feb. 25 for leases to develop wind power off the U.S. east coast, authorities said, after sales key to America’s renewable electricity ambitions.

The six sites are in an area called the New York Bight and total 488,000 acres (197,500 hectares), making it the biggest U.S. renewable power auction ever.

Development of all six tracts could generate as much as 7 gigawatts of wind energy, enough to power some 2 million homes, officials said.

“The investments we are seeing today will play an important role in delivering on the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to tackle the climate crisis,” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said in a statement.

In the last auction of offshore areas in 2018, the lots had gone for about $1,040 per acre, but this time they went for nearly $9,000 per acre after three days and 64 rounds of bidding.

Bidding started at $48.8 million, with the largest lot being snapped up by Bight Wind Holdings for $1.1 billion.

The other five companies included Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind Bight - a joint venture between Shell and EDF.

The authorities had authorized 25 companies to participate in the auction.

President Joe Biden has set a goal to install 30 gigawatts of offshore wind power by 2030, generating enough electricity to power more than 10 million homes.

Currently there are just two producing offshore wind sites in the United States generating a modest 42 megawatts.

The administration has approved the nation’s first two commercial-scale offshore wind projects in federal waters: the 800-megawatt Vineyard Wind project off the Massachusetts coast and the 130-megawatt South Fork wind farm near New York’s Long Island.