Statoil Wins New York Offshore Wind Lease

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Norwegian oil and gas company Statoil has won the offshore wind lease to 79,350 acres off the coast of New York with a winning bid of $42.5 million.

Statoil announced earlier this month that it had been named the provisional winner of the auction conducted by the US Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). While the winning bid price is likely to be subsequently amended with future costs and savings, this nevertheless marks the continuing development of one of the world’s potentially-largest but-still-infant offshore wind energy markets.

“We are excited to have submitted the most competitive bid in a highly attractive project, Statoil’s first offshore wind lease in the United States,” said Irene Rummelhoff, Statoil´s executive vice president for New Energy Solutions. “We now look forward to working with New York’s state agencies and contribute to New York meeting its future energy needs by applying our offshore experience and engineering expertise.”

The lease gives Statoil the potential to develop up to 1 gigawatt (GW) of offshore wind, though the company is setting its sight on a more manageable 400 to 600 megawatts (MW) to start things off. Located 14 to 30 miles off the coast of New York, the area spans 79,350 acres (or 321 square kilometers) and covers water depths ranging between 20 meters to 40 meters. Next on the list of things for Statoil to deal with is a study of the seabed conditions.

“We will work closely with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority on these studies and throughout the permitting process, and in connection with power offtake options,” added Rummelhoff.

This is definitely not Statoil’s first foray into offshore wind energy development, with several projects already under development. Most noticeably, of course, is the 2.4 GW Dogger Bank Offshore Wind Farm, of which Statoil is one of four members of the Forewind consortium developing the project. The Dogger Bank Zone as a whole has a potential of up to 7.2 GW — though that figure was originally labeled at 9 GW, before being downgraded.

Statoil is also a co-developer for the 402 MW Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm and is scheduled to be completed in late 2017. This will be the company’s second wind farm, following the successful development of the 316.8 MW Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm completed back in 2012.

Of course, Statoil is also working on one of the world’s largest floating wind farms, with the Hywind pilot park, set to be located offshore of Peterhead in Aberdenshire, Scotland, being developed with five floating 5 MW wind turbines.

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Joshua S Hill

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