Energy Management Inc. (EMI), the developer of the Cape Wind offshore wind project, is among the developers that have expressed interest in building a wind farm off the Virginia coast.
EMI's application was one of two qualification packages recently submitted to the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM); the other was from Sea Breeze Energy LLC, BOEM spokesperson Tracey Moriarty confirmed to NAW.
However, BOEM is not yet seeking specific project proposals at this time, so the details about each developer's intentions for the area remain unclear.
The expressions of interest come in response to Virginia's proposed sale notice, which was published last December. In addition to EMI and Sea Breeze Energy, eight other companies already submitted nominations in response to BOEM's February 2012 call for information and nominations for commercial wind leasing offshore Virginia: Apex Virginia Offshore Wind LLC, Arcadia Offshore Virginia LLC, Cirrus Wind Energy LLC, Dominion Virginia Power, enXco Development Corp. (EDF Renewable Energy), Fisherman's Energy LLC, Iberdrola Renewables Inc. and Orisol Energy US Inc.
The proposed lease area offshore Virginia will be auctioned as a single lease and totals about 112,800 acres located about 23.5 nautical miles off the southern part of the Virginia coast. It is expected to support more than 2 GW of wind energy generation.
BOEM will hold competitive lease sales for the area sometime this year. The qualification process is ongoing, and the companies that are qualified to bid on the upcoming lease sale will be announced as part of the final sale notice, which is expected to be published later this year, Moriarty says.