Wind energy projects on Massachusetts coast don’t appear to be very attractive for private developers. The U.S. authorities auctioned off leases to more than 550 square miles of government waters on the Massachusetts coast to two private enterprises, aiming to develop wind energy ventures. The auction took place this week, on Tuesday. The two areas were among four available for lease by the Interior Department. Two different parcels didn’t get offers.
The winning offers by Offshore MW LLC and RES America Inc. rounded up to $448,171. The areas are located around 12 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard. Authorities said the aggregate space of the two territories sold nearly double the land rented for wind energy via competitive deals.
The bartering was organized in a time when the Cape Wind venture’s future- which had been charged at the country’s first seaward wind ranches- is uncertain. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell welcomed the closeout, naming it another imperative venture towards building an offshore wind energy base.
The rented area could back up two gigawatts of commercial wind production, enough power to support more than 700,000 homes if completely developed, as indicated by a report released by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Granting the leases is only the initial part of an extensive administrative procedure. Each one lease will have an initial term of one year. During that period the organization which received the contract must submit a site evaluation plan for consent.
If the evaluation plan is endorsed, the organizations have up to five years to come up with a construction arrangement giving lengthy data about the construction and operation of the wind energy venture.
The endorsement of the building plan will launch an environmental audit. If the organizations pass that too, they will be given a 25 years operations term. It remains to be seen whether the state will have its own particular policies set up to make the engineering happen.
Ben Hellerstein, campaign organizer for Environment Massachusetts welcomed the decision and noted:
“We have vast untapped potential to power the Eastern Seaboard with pollution-free wind energy, and now the first wind turbines are closer than ever to spinning off our nation’s shores,”
U.S. Sen. Edward Markey likewise praised the auction, mentioning that the winds that assaulted the Massachusetts coast during the current week’s storm hold undiscovered energy potential. In an official statement the senator noted that these brutal winds can be transformed into clean energy for residents ‘homes, prompting jobs even while reducing the carbon pollution that has been intensifying environmental change and boosting storms.
In the meantime, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the office managing the process, said it hopes to hold another auction offshore New Jersey not long from now.
Image Source: News Wire