Equinor with a bid of $135m has prevailed in an online offshore wind auction held by the US Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) for a lease area located offshore Massachusetts.
The lease area won by Equinor is OCS-A 0520, which is one of the three offshore leases that were put up for auction by the US agency.
Located south of Massachusetts and east of New York, OCS-A 0520 spans more than 128,811 acres.
Equinor has the rights to explore development of potential offshore wind farms in the leased area to provide significant, long-term source of renewable energy to the region.
Currently, the Norwegian energy firm owns leases in proximity to some of the major markets for offshore wind in the US.
Equinor Wind US president Christer af Geijerstam said: “We are excited to have secured this attractive opportunity, Equinor’s second offshore wind lease in the United States.
“This acquisition complements our existing position on the US East Coast and gives us a foothold to engage in the Massachusetts and wider New England market, a region notable for its strong commitment to offshore wind.”
According to Equinor, OCS-A 0520 is part of its commitment to take a top position in renewable energy development in the US. In December 2016, the Norwegian energy giant bagged the federal lease auction of 80,000 acres located south of New York and east of New Jersey.
Currently, the company is engaged in the development of the Empire Wind project offshore New York, which is expected to have a capacity of 1,000-1,500MW, and Boardwalk Wind project offshore New Jersey with a similar capacity in the leased area.
The US offshore wind portfolio of Equinor currently has the potential to meet the power consumption needs of more than two million homes.
Equinor New Energy Solutions executive vice president Pål Eitrheim said: “The US northeast presents Equinor with the near-term potential to build a second industrial offshore wind hub for the company, adding to our existing position in the United Kingdom.”
In late August, the Norwegian energy giant revealed its intentions to develop an 88MW floating offshore wind farm with an investment of around $600m to supply power to the Gullfaks and Snorre fields in the North Sea.