Bidding commenced this morning, December 6, for the U.S. first offshore wind energy leases on the Pacific Coast. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is overseeing the online auction, reporting that it is receiving strong bidding. After 20 rounds, the auction was recessed and is due to resume tomorrow, December 7, at 10 a.m. eastern time.
Being offered are a total of five leases, two off Northern California and three off Central California. The Humboldt area is located off the coast of Northern California near Eureka and consists of two areas, one over 63,000 acres and the other over 69,000 acres. The Morro Bay area in Southern California consists of three leases, each of which is over 80,000 acres. The Department of Interior forecasts that the five leases could yield power for 1.5 million homes.
The U.S. predicted that there would be strong interest in the leases. Before today’s auction began, BOEM reported that a total of 43 organizations had been qualified to participate as bidders. The list includes companies developing U.S. East Coast wind farms, including Avangrid, Equinor, and Orsted, as well as smaller developers from California. Read on.