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5 developers declare intention to bid in NY offshore wind solicitation

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Five major offshore wind developers expressed an interest in submitting proposals to a New York solicitation, according to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

NYSERDA announced Jan. 3 on Twitter the level of interest in the state's first offshore wind solicitation from developers with offshore wind lease areas off New York and surrounding states.

In response to New York's Nov. 8, 2018, solicitation request for 800 MW of offshore wind capacity, the developers who filed a notice on the intent to propose are:

* Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind LLC, a joint venture of EDF Group subsidiary EDF Renewable Energy Inc. and Royal Dutch Shell PLC subsidiary Shell New Energies US LLC.

* Bay State Wind LLC, a joint venture of Ørsted A/S and Eversource Energy.

* Equinor Wind US LLC, a unit of Equinor.

* Mayflower Wind Energy LLC, a joint venture of Shell New Energies and EDP Renováveis SA subsidiary EDPR Offshore North America LLC.

* Vineyard Wind LLC, a partnership between Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners K/S and Avangrid Renewables LLC.

NYSERDA said in an email that bids for the solicitation are due Feb. 14 and awards are expected in the spring, with agreements to be executed soon thereafter to take advantage of expiring tax credits. The agency said the lease areas included in the notice of intent to propose cover more than 700,000 acres that can support more than 7,000 MW of offshore wind capacity. New York has a goal to procure 2,400 MW of offshore wind capacity by 2030.

On Dec. 14, 2018, Equinor, Mayflower Wind and Vineyard Wind each won leases off Massachusetts after 32 rounds of bids in a two-day auction with the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. The developers had bid a collective $405.1 million for leases covering nearly 390,000 acres combined, which could support about 4,100 MW of offshore wind generation.

Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind's $215 million acquistion of a 183,353-acre lease off New Jersey from developer US Wind Inc. is still subject to regulatory approval, but Atlantic Shores went ahead and participated alongside Equinor and a collaboration between Ørsted and an affiliate of Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. in New Jersey’s offshore wind solicitation for 1,100 MW of capacity. New Jersey is pursuing 3,500 MW of offshore wind by 2030.

Vineyard is securing financing for its 800-MW Vineyard Offshore Wind Project off Massachusetts, which is waiting on state approval of power supply contracts with local electric distribution companies in Massachusetts and is slated to start construction in 2020 or 2021.

However, Vineyard's namesake project faces regulatory uncertainty after Rhode Island's Coastal Resources Management Council declined to support the project following a warning by the state Fisherman's Advisory Board that the project's turbine layout would block off key fishing grounds. As federal laws give states the power to block the offshore wind project, Vineyard has until the end of January to find common ground with New England fishermen who fear they will be unable to work in the waters where the wind facility would be built.

The parent company of EDP Renováveis is EDP - Energias de Portugal SA. The parent company of EDF Group is Electricité de France SA.