Wind power auction draws limited interest

Boston Globe:  Are falling energy prices and the collapse of the Cape Wind project undermining other offshore wind projects?
A federal government auction of four leases to build wind farms off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard drew little interest, selling for a fraction of what previous auctions raised recently.
Just two of 12 qualified bidders participated in the auction Thursday by the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to sell wind development rights for a 1,161-square-mile swath of ocean about 14 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard. Two of the four leases did not receive any bids.
One of the winning bidders, the renewable energy company RES Americas, paid $281,285 to lease 187,523 acres, while the second, New Jersey-based MW Offshore LLC, paid $166,886 for 166,886 acres.
That works out to just $1.50 and $1 per acre, respectively, for each lease.
In contrast, Deepwater Wind New England LLC paid about $23 an acre in 2013 with its winning bid of $3.8 million for a nearby stretch of ocean closer to Rhode Island. The federal ocean energy bureau has also sold offshore leases off the coasts of Virginia and Maryland.
Despite the poor showing, officials noted the new leases would nearly double the amount of acreage the bureau has leased for offshore wind power through competitive sales.


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