The U.S. Department of the Interior announced the New York Bight Offshore Wind Lease auction results, which was the nation’s highest-grossing competitive offshore energy lease sale in history.
The department said around 488,201 acres off the New York and New Jersey coast was divided into six lease areas. The lease areas are awarded to Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind Bight, Attentive Energy, Bight Wind Holdings, Invenergy Wind Offshore, Mid-Atlantic Offshore Wind, and OW Ocean Winds East.
The competitive winning bids from six companies totaled $4.37 billion.
Bight Wind Holdings secured 125,964 acres of lease area by quoting $1.1 billion. Attentive Energy and Invenergy Wind Offshore were awarded 84,332 acres and 83,976 acres for $795 million and $645 million, respectively. Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind Bight and OW Ocean Wind East secured 79,531 acres and 71,522 acres by quoting $780 million and $765 million, respectively. Mid-Atlantic Offshore Wind was awarded 43,056 acres for $285 million.
Before the leases are finalized, the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission will conduct an anti-competitiveness review of the auction. The provisional winners will be required to pay the winning bids and provide financial assurance to the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).
The New York Bight will produce up to 7 GW of renewable energy to satisfy the power needs of millions of households. It will also help achieve the Biden Administration’s goal of 30 GW of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030.
The department said it is committed to holding additional lease sales in the Carolinas, California, Gulf of Mexico, Central Atlantic, Oregon, and the Gulf of Maine by 2025 to deploy 110 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2050.
The auction also advances the efforts of New Jersey and New York to procure 7.5 GW and 9 GW of green energy, respectively.
The New York Bight offshore wind leases included innovative stipulations designed to develop a robust domestic supply chain for offshore wind energy and improve engagement with tribes, the commercial fishing industry, other ocean users, and underserved communities. The stipulations include incentives to domestically source significant components – like blades, turbines, and foundations – enter into project labor agreements to make sure projects are union-built. It would advance flexibility in transmission planning.
The department stated that the auction followed a tremendous year that saw $2.2 billion of investment in the offshore wind sector, nine new manufacturing facilities announcements, and significant growth in the domestic supply chain.
The department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management would review at least 16 plans to develop and operate commercial offshore wind energy facilities by 2025, representing over 22 GW of green energy. It has already approved 930 MW of commercial offshore wind projects in federal waters.
“This week’s offshore wind sale makes one thing clear: the enthusiasm for the clean energy economy is undeniable, and it’s here to stay,” said U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Deb Haaland. “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 and create thousands of good-paying, union jobs across the nation.”
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the country installed 16.8 GW of new wind energy capacity in 2020.