US auctioning 343,833 acres offshore New Jersey for wind projects

siemens offshore wind project
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The US will be offering 343,833 acres offshore New Jersey for commercial wind energy development. A competitive lease sale of the space will be held on November 9.

The announcement has been made by Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Abigail Ross Hopper.

The initiative is being taken as part of US President Barack Obama’s comprehensive Climate Action Plan.

If the proposed area is utilized to full potential it could generate a total of 3,400 megawatts of wind power. National Renewable Energy Laboratory of the Department of Energy has estimated that the power would be adequate to meet the requirements of about 1.2 million homes.

US Department of Interior

According to a report, BOEM has awarded nine commercial offshore wind leases, including seven through the competitive lease sale process (two offshore Rhode Island-Massachusetts, two offshore Massachusetts, two offshore Maryland and one offshore Virginia). The lease sales generated about $14.5 million in winning bids for more than 700,000 acres in federal waters.

The New Jersey Wind Energy Area starts about seven nautical miles from shore.

The Final Sale Notice is to be published in the Federal Register on September 25. And the auction will include two leases. Lease OCS-A 0498 (South Lease Area) consists of 160,480 acres; and Lease OCS-A 0499 (North Lease Area) comprises 183,353 acres.

The report, citing the Final Sale Notice, says BOEM will consider monetary and nonmonetary factors (whether a bidder has obtained a Power Purchase Agreement or New Jersey Offshore Renewable Energy Certificate award) in determining the winners.

BOEM has made more information available on its website.

Ajith Kumar S

editor@greentechlead.com