The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) has announced that more than 742,000 acres offshore Massachusetts will be offered for commercial wind energy development in a Jan. 29, 2015, competitive lease sale. In June, the department revealed its intention to auction off the designated Wind Energy Area (WEA), which starts about 12 nautical miles offshore Massachusetts, as four leases.
‘[T]his will be our largest competitive lease sale to date for offshore wind energy development,’ says Interior Secretary Sally Jewell. ‘This sale will triple the amount of federal offshore acreage available for commercial-scale wind energy projects, bringing Massachusetts to the forefront of our nation's new energy frontier.’
According to an analysis prepared by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, if fully developed, the Massachusetts WEA could support between 4 GW and 5 GW of commercial wind generation, enough electricity to power over 1.4 million homes.
‘Over the past five years, the Commonwealth has worked with its federal, state, tribal, industry and community partners to put the infrastructure and planning pieces in place to make Massachusetts the launch pad for the U.S. offshore wind industry,’ comments Gov. Deval Patrick, D-Mass. ‘This offshore wind energy area not only has the capacity to generate enough electricity to power half the homes in Massachusetts, but it will create local jobs and a renewable and homegrown source of power.’
According to the DOI, the following 12 companies have qualified to participate in the auction for the Massachusetts WEA:
– Deepwater Wind New England LLC
– EDF Renewable Development Inc.
– Energy Management Inc.
– Fishermen's Energy LLC
– Green Sail Energy LLC
– Iberdrola Renewables Inc.
– NRG Bluewater Wind Massachusetts LLC
– OffshoreMW LLC
– RES America Developments Inc.
– Sea Breeze Energy LLC
– US Mainstream Renewable Power (Offshore) Inc.
– U.S. Wind Inc.
For more information about the Massachusetts WEA and auction, click here.