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Feds Declare Winner In Auction For Maryland Offshore Wind Leases

Thanet Wind Farm in the English Channel, London to Italy Flight, 24/07/2012 taken by DG Jones via flickr

Energy company US Wind Inc, a subsidiary of the Italian company Renexia, won Tuesday's auctionto develop wind farms on federal waters ten nautical miles off the coast of Ocean City.

The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) held two simultaneous, online auctions for two different, adjacent parcels. US Wind won both leases with a joint bid of $8.7 million for the entire 80,000-acre area. Two other firms participated: Green Sail Energy LLC and SCS Maryland Energy LLC.

BOEM officials noted the competitiveness of the auction, which lasted 19 rounds. The price per acre was approximately $109, many times larger than what was bid in auctions last year for offshore wind leases in New England and Virginia.The results are provisional; the next step will be a Department of Justice anti-trust review of the bid. US Wind then has a year to submit a site assessment, and then four and a half years to submit a construction and operations plan. They will also likely seek approval of the Maryland Public Service Commission for a ratepayer-funded subsidy for the project passed by the General Assembly in 2013.