After two days of 32 rounds of competitive bidding by 19 companies1 in the latest auction of Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) renewable energy leases by the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the three winning bidders will pay $405 million for their 30-year leases, setting a new record.2 BOEM estimates that the potential for the leased areas could support in excess of 4 GW of commercial wind generation, sufficient to power nearly 1.5 million households.
Significantly, two of the winning bidders are traditional oil companies—Statoil (now known as Equinor) and Shell (through its subsidiary Mayflower Wind). The third winning bidder, Vineyard Wind, is a joint venture between Avangrid (formerly known as Iberdrola) Renewables and funds of Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners. Vineyard Wind is also the developer of the existing lease off of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, described in our prior In Brief.3
1 Details of the bidding rounds and pricing are available at: https://www.boem.gov/Commercial-Wind-Leasing/Massachusetts/Lease-Sale-4A/.
2 See the related Department of the Interior press release at: https://www.doi.gov/pressreleases/bidding-bonanza-trump-administration-smashes-record-offshore-wind-auction-405-million.