United States' Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) recently announced that RES America Developments Inc. and US Wind Inc. have won the lease contracts to potentially develop wind farms in federal waters off the coast of New Jersey.
RES America Developments Inc. (a subsidiary of U.K. headquartered RES Group), bid $880,715 for lease area OCS-A 0498 (160,480 acres), and US Wind Inc. (a subsidiary of Italy's TOTO Holding S.p.A.) bid $1,006,240 for OCS-A 0499 (183,353 acres).
Fishermen's Energy LLC, founded by New Jersey commercial fishermen, also participated in the lease sale.
An analysis by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, indicates that if fully developed, the area leased in the federal sale could support about 3,400 megawatts of commercial wind generation, enough electricity to power about 1.2 million homes.
BOEM Director Abigail Ross Hopper, said:
"With provisional winners for both lease areas, we are optimistic about the promise of a strong renewable energy future offshore New Jersey, as well as for the entire nation. I look forward to working with the members of the New Jersey Renewable Energy Task Force and the public on future wind energy projects proposed for these leases by RES America Developments Inc. and US Wind Inc."
The New Jersey Wind Energy Area starts about seven nautical miles offshore and extends roughly 21 nautical miles seaward.
The winning bidders will still have to overpass several hurdles before developing any wind farm in the ocean.
Each lease will have a preliminary term of one year, during which the lessee will submit a Site Assessment Plan to BOEM for approval. Once that is approved, the lessee will have four and a half years to submit a Construction and Operations Plan (COP) to BOEM for approval. Then BOEM will conduct an environmental review of that proposed project. If the COP is approved, the lessee will have an operations term of 25 years.