By Valerie Volcovici
The Biden’s administration’s sale of offshore wind development rights off the coasts of Long Island and New Jersey continued to shatter records on Friday, reaching over $4 billion with one single block fetching over $1 billion.
The auction, which began on Wednesday, is the first offshore wind lease sale under U.S. President Joe Biden, who sees the expansion of the industry as a way to tackle climate change and create thousands of new jobs.
The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), which oversees energy development in federal waters, offered six leases across 488,201 acres (197,568 hectares) between New York‘s Long Island and New Jersey, an area known as the New York Bight.
By midday on Friday, total high bids on the six blocks amounted to $4.235 billion, according to the BOEM’s web site. That is more than three times the revenue received from all U.S. offshore oil and gas lease auctions over the past five years.
The website did not identify the companies competing for the leases, but approved bidders included entities controlled by Equinor ASA, Avangrid Inc, BP Plc and Electricite de France SA, among others, according to government documents published last month.
Under the rules of the auction, each company can only win one lease.
“The high bids will benefit tax payers, as the money incurred will go to the U.S. Treasury,” BOEM spokeswoman Tracey Moriarty said.
(Reporting by Valerie VolcoviciEditing by Marguerita Choy and Aurora Ellsi)
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