Developers open their wallets, prove offshore wind a hot commodity

Offshore wind developers really wanted this one. After 33 rounds of bidding and a final $42.5 million price tag, Statoil won the rights to develop an offshore wind farm off the southern coast of Long Island.

Late last week, over a two-day bidding war, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) auctioned off nearly 80,000 square acres for wind farm development. Given the close proximity to energy-hungry New York City, the parcel drew a record-shattering winning bid.

Six entities fought for the rights over two days, and Norway’s Statoil came out on top. Already an offshore wind owner in Europe, Statoil has now joined the U.S. market.

Statoil’s $42.5 million winning offer more than doubles the combined winning totals for all 11 previous BOEM offshore wind auctions.

“This auction underscores the growing market demand for renewable energy among our coastal communities,” said DOI Secretary Sally Jewell. “It not only marks another milestone for the U.S. offshore wind energy program, but also demonstrates how our collaborative efforts with state, local and private-sector partners can advance a clean energy future in the United States.”

Projects like this should help New York achieve its 50 percent clean energy standard, finalized earlier this year.

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