Three unsolicited bids for US offshore sites

UNITED STATES: Interest in developing offshore wind off Massachusetts and New York state is escalating, with the Bureau of Ocean Management (BOEM) receiving three unsolicited requests for permits.

The 30MW Block Island project is the US's only offshore wind project so far

Both states are highly populated, have high electricity prices, broadly progressive politics, and little room left for onshore wind development.

BOEM has received two lease requests from PNE Wind USA and Statoil Wind US for sites off Massachusetts.

The German and Norwegian affiliates are seeking to develop previously unleased areas on the Outer Continental Shelf in the Atlantic Ocean. Each is seeking to build projects of at least 400MW.

Lease area OCS-A 0502 is about 1,000 square kilometres and Lease area OCS-A 0503 is some 569 square kilometres.

Because the two companies nominated the same area, BOEM will proceed with an auction to select the most appropriate developer.

Other firms will be able to bid.

Meanwhile, BOEM also received a lease request from PNE for 165.6 square kilometres off New York's Long Island.

The site is near lease area OCS-A 0512, for which Statoil Wind US already has a provisional lease.

BOEM must now determine if there is competitive interest in PNE's proposed site and, if so, will hold an auction.

Massachusetts has a law that requires 1.6GW of offshore wind by 2027, while New York is seeking to buy 2.4GW of offshore wind by 2030.