Statoil and the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) formally executed the lease of 79,350 acres offshore New York this week, paving the way for the Norwegian giant to explore the potential development of an offshore wind farm.
Turbine installation at Dudgeon wind farm, off the UK.
The lease comprises an area that could potentially accommodate more than 1 GW of offshore wind, with a phased development expected to start with 400-600 MW. The New York Wind Energy Area is located 14-30mi (30-60km) offshore, spans 79,350 acres (321sq km), and covers water depths between 65-131ft (20-40m).
The wind farm would provide New York with a significant, long-term source of clean and renewable electricity.
“Statoil is pleased to achieve this first milestone for the project. We are now ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work. The first step is for our technical experts to work with state agencies to evaluate the lease site to gather a more detailed understanding of the seabed conditions, grid connection options and wind resources that will ultimately define this project,” says Knut Aanstad, president of Statoil Wind US.
Statoil says it has received support from various stakeholders, including the business community and environmental groups, and that there has been expressed enthusiasm for the development of offshore wind by state agencies and stakeholders in New York.
Statoil currently has wind project offshore the UK, Germany, and Norway.
In December, Statoil walked away the provisional winner of the US government’s Atlantic Wind Lease Sale 6 for 79,350 acres offshore New York, as the company bid US$42,469,725 for lease area OCS-A 0512.
The lease area comprises an area that could potentially accommodate more than 1 GW of offshore wind, with a phased development expected to start with 400-600 MW, Statoil said at the time.
In February 2016, Statoil launched a new venture capital fund, Statoil Energy Ventures, dedicated to investing in renewable energy. Potential investment announced last year included offshore wind, in addition to solar energy, energy storage, transportation, energy efficiency and smart grids.