The Interior Department's Bureau of Ocean Energy Managment auctioned off two out of four wind development areas off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard today for potential wind energy development. Twelve companies were eligible to place bids, but only two took part in the auction.
The two companies are RES Americas, a company headquartered in the UK, and OffshoreMW, the sister company of a German wind energy developer. They have secured provisional leases to build offshore wind farms off the coast of Massachusetts, south of Martha’s Vineyard.
The two areas bid upon are closer to shore. RES Americas is the provisional winner of 187,523 acres for $281,285 and OffshoreMW is the provisional winner of 166,886 acres for $166,886.
BOEM Director Abigail Hopper said these companies have one year to submit a plan to assess the wind resources in that area.
“After that’s approved, then they have 4 ½ years to develop a construction and operation plan, which my agency would approve,” said Hopper. “And then at that point they can go into full construction and development of an ocean windfarm.”
Hopper said this area on the Continental Shelf is deeper than other areas under development along the eastern seaboard and will present a different set of challenges.
The other two areas that were not leased are still a part of the Massachusetts wind energy area. Hopper said the federal government will continue to engage in discussions with Massachusetts and a special task force to consider what to do with those two areas in the future.
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