Does Offshore Wind Finally Have The Wind At Its Back? DOI Announces Plan For Largest Auction To Date

Earlier this week, DOI Secretary Jewell joined with Governor Patrick to announce plans to auction more than 1,000 square miles on the Outer Continental Shelf offshore Massachusetts for wind energy development. The auction, which will be implemented as four separate leases, pretty much will follow the form of earlier lease auctions:

• Bidders will be prequalified to participate in the auction

• The auction will include multiple factors, including non-monetary factors

• The winning bidder or bidders will have one year in which to submit a site assessment for the work necessary to determine if a project on the leasehold is actually feasible

• Winning bidders pay a per-acre fee prior to commercial operation; they will essentially pay a royalty after commercial operation begins

• BOEM has issued a revised Environmental Assessment to support the lease sales, but each specific wind energy project will require separate NEPA compliance

I don’t know about you – and perhaps it is just the onset of nice June weather — but I have a feeling that the offshore wind industry really is about to take off in the US. Call me a cockeyed optimist.

One thought on “Does Offshore Wind Finally Have The Wind At Its Back? DOI Announces Plan For Largest Auction To Date

  1. Dear Cockeyed Optimist:

    So, we’re talking here about price-competitive construction cost recovery, operations, maintenance and delivery of whatever power remains after travelling ashore from an often “sub-optimal” marine environment some 20 miles or more away. One might conclude that bowl of jello will require rather substantial subsidies to succeed. One might also conclude that siting such developments much closer to shore would make them much more competitive. Of course, I get these splitting headaches whenever I look at any of the wind turbines here in Falmouth…..

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