On January 29, 2015, the Department's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will hold a competitive commercial lease sale for the rights to site offshore wind facilities in the federally designated Massachusetts Wind Energy Area. Generally located south of the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, the area will be auctioned as four leases. It starts about 12 nautical miles offshore Massachusetts; from its northern boundary, the area extends 33 nautical miles southward and runs about 47 nautical miles from east to west. The Massachusetts Wind Energy Area is significantly larger than previously auctioned areas off Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Maryland. The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory has estimated that fully developing the Massachusetts area could support between 4 and 5 gigawatts of commercial wind generation.
BOEM has found twelve companies to be legally, technically and financially qualified to participate in the auction for the Massachusetts Wind Energy Area:
- 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.
The Massachusetts auction will be the fourth competitive lease sale for renewable energy on the Outer Continental Shelf, following previous auctions for sites off Massachusetts-Rhode Island, Virginia and Maryland. Bidders winning previous auctions have committed over $14 million in bids to secure over 357,500 acres in federal waters. BOEM expects to hold another lease auction for sites offshore New Jersey in 2015.