January 23, 2019

The Vision Is Clearer—Offshore Wind Farms Are Appearing on the US Horizon

Joan M. Bondareff

The Trump administration, while demonstrating a clear preference for fossil fuels, has continued the past precedents of permitting offshore wind farms. To date, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) at the Department of the Interior has approved 16 commercial wind leases, and more sales in wind energy areas (WEAs) along the Atlantic Coast are expected later this year. A major auction was conducted on December 14, 2018, for three leases off the coast of Massachusetts, resulting in a total auction price of $405 million. Even BOEM found this to be a “bonanza.” The winners were Equinor (former Statoil), Vineyard Wind (Copenhagen and Avangrid Renewables) and Mayflower (Shell and EDP Renewables). The West Coast and Hawaii are considering floating wind platforms. 

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