United States: Offshore wind auction reaches $757 million in bids in California

Dec 13, 2022 | Posted by MadalineDunn

The United States' first floating wind auction, part of the US government's pledge to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030, closed on its second day last week, with prices reaching $757m. This is for five leases across 373,286 acres in waters off California, where at least 4.6 GW of offshore capacity is set to be developed. Winning bidders included RWE Offshore Wind Holdings, Equinor Wind US, Invenergy California Offshore, California North Floating (Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners), and Central California Offshore Wind (Ocean Winds).

It has been said that the auction is a good sign for the Biden administration's aim to develop 15 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity by 2035.

"Today's lease sale is further proof that industry momentum – including for floating offshore wind development – is undeniable," said US Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland. Meanwhile, Amanda Lefton, director of the US Bureau of Ocean Energy (BOEM), which regulates federal waters, commented: "This auction commits substantial investment to support economic growth from floating wind energy development – including the jobs that come with it." 

Molly Morris, president of Equinor Wind US, said: "The US west coast is one of the most attractive growth regions for floating wind in the world due to its favorable wind conditions and proximity to markets that need reliable, clean energy."

According to reports, the total paid by the energy companies is considerably smaller than the record-breaking $4.37 billion that companies paid for six offshore wind leases off New York and New Jersey's coasts back in February.

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