Following New Jersey regulators’ rejection of its Nautilus Offshore Wind proposal earlier this week, EDF Renewables North America has formed a new offshore wind joint venture with Shell and formed an agreement to purchase a lease area from US Wind Inc.
The 50/50 joint venture between EDF and Shell New Energies US LLC – called Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind LLC – plans to co-develop OCS-0499 lease area, located within the New Jersey Wind Energy Area (WEA). The federal lease area, which holds the potential to produce approximately 2.5 GW of offshore wind, comprises 183,353 acres about eight miles off the coast of Atlantic City on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf. US Wind won a federal auction for the OCS-0499 lease area in November 2015.
“The opportunity supports the EDF Group’s aim to double global renewable capacity to 50 GW by 2030. It solidifies EDF Renewables’ ambitions to leverage its depth of experience in the European offshore wind market in the emerging U.S. market,” comments Tristan Grimbert, president and CEO of EDF Renewables North America.
“Shell has bold ambitions to grow our renewable power business, and we see great potential in U.S. offshore wind,” says Dorine Bosman, vice president of Shell Wind Development. “Gaining access to this acreage in New Jersey complements our successful entry to Massachusetts and our existing renewable generation business. Building on the strength of our brand and global presence allows us to continue providing our customers with more and cleaner energy.”
Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind LLC plans to begin working to complete a site assessment plan and initiate formal development efforts on the site and – subject to a positive final investment decision – could bring the wind farm into operation by the mid-2020s.
For the purchase of the lease area, EDF Renewables will pay US Wind a total of $215 million, plus a deferred variable payment.
US Wind, the Baltimore-based U.S. subsidiary of the Italian Toto Holding Group, plans to focus on its Maryland offshore development. The US Wind Maryland project, expected to be operational in 2022, will comprise 32 turbines sited 17 miles off the coast of Ocean City and will be capable of producing 268 MW of offshore wind energy.
“The sale of our New Jersey lease is consistent with our strategy to develop and optimize our assets while focusing on those projects that enhance our leadership position,” explains Riccardo Toto, president of US Wind.
On Tuesday, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, citing an “unacceptable burden” for state ratepayers, denied the petition of Nautilus Offshore Wind LLC to install a 25 MW offshore wind demo in state waters off the coast of Atlantic City. The demo, originally proposed through Fishermen’s Energy back in 2009, was a collaboration between EDF and Fishermen’s.