New York Bight offshore wind lease sale set for February

Feb. 1, 2022
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will hold a wind auction on Wednesday, Feb. 23 for more than 480,000 acres offshore New York and New Jersey.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will hold a wind auction on Wednesday, Feb. 23 for more than 480,000 acres offshore New York and New Jersey, in the area known as the New York Bight.

The auction will allow offshore wind developers to bid on six lease areas. According to BOEM, these leases could result in 5.6 to 7 gigawatts of offshore wind energy, enough to power nearly 2 million homes.

This will be the first offshore wind energy auction under the Biden administration, and the first US offshore wind lease sale in more than three years.

According to National Ocean Industries Association President Erik Milito, this can be a milestone moment for American offshore wind. “The New York Bight offshore wind lease sale is much anticipated and long awaited. It has been more than three years since the ‘bidding bonanza’ lease sale offshore Massachusetts, and now we finally have a set date for what will be an incredible energy and economic opportunity,” Milito said. “With their large economies and massive populations, New York and New Jersey are two coastal states critical to the development of American offshore wind. The benefits of the lease sale will go beyond New York and New Jersey and will support jobs and businesses throughout the US.”

Van Oord wind vessel to be powered by methanol

Wärtsilä will supply methanol-fuelled engines for a new offshore wind installation vessel under construction for Van Oord at the Yantai CIMC Raffles shipyard in China.

The vessel will be powered by five Wärtsilä 32 engines capable of operating with methanol. In addition, Wärtsilä will also supply thrusters for station keeping.

‘Green’ methanol is produced using hydrogen from renewably-sourced electricity and recaptured carbon.

Recently Wärtsilä recently signed a cooperation agreement with Yantai CIMC Raffles concerning design and development of future solutions for newbuild vessels. This includes use of future carbon-free fuels.

Construction set to begin on South Fork wind farm 

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has approved the construction and operations plan (COP) for the South Fork wind farm offshore New York.

This is the final approval needed from the agency to move the project toward the start of construction. 

The COP approval outlines the project’s one nautical mile turbine spacing, the requirements on the construction methodology for all work occurring in federal waters, and mitigation measures to protect marine habitats and species.

In November 2021, BOEM issued its record of decision, which concluded the environmental review of the project.

Ørsted and Eversource are developing the 132-MW South Fork project. It will be located 35 mi (56 km) east of Montauk Point, New York. Operations are expected to begin in 2023.

The 1,500-ton, 60-ft (18-m) tall substation will be built at Kiewit’s facility in Ingleside, Texas.

Long Island-based Haugland Energy Group LLC will install the duct bank system for the project’s underground onshore transmission line and lead the construction of the onshore interconnection facility in East Hampton, New York.

Offshore installation of the 12 monopile foundations and Siemens Gamesa 11-MW wind turbines is expected to begin in summer 2023.

Maryland emerges as manufacturing hub

The Maryland Public Service Commission has awarded offtake agreements to two offshore wind projects that will generate a combined 1,654.5 MW of electricity for Maryland homes and businesses. Maryland has now secured 2,022 MW of offshore wind capacity. As part of these offtake agreements, the Skipjack II and Momentum Wind projects committed to invest in new monopile, tower, and array cable facilities, along with other economic benefits, that will make the State of Maryland a major manufacturing hub for the offshore wind industry. Locating three major component manufacturing facilities in Maryland is a great advancement for the U.S. domestic offshore wind supply chain.