An auction that will award rights to develop offshore wind farms within a 133 square mile (214km²) area off Virginia Beach is likely to take place later this year, now that nine companies have formally expressed interest in bidding.
The final structure and terms of the upcoming auction have not yet been finalised by the US Bureau of Ocean Management (BOEM), which is an agency of the US Department of Energy.
Interest has been strong in the Virginia federal offshore wind energy area, which at its closest point is 23.5 US nautical miles (43.5km) from shore. The nine companies to have submitted preliminary financial and technical documents to BOEM in order to pre-qualify for the auction are:
- Energy Management, the developer behind Cape Wind
- Sea Breeze Energy LLC, a new company formed to take advantage of the upcoming BOEM lease auctions off the East Coast of the US
- Dominion Virginia Power, a large utility with more than 27GW of gas generation assets
- Arcadia Offshore Virginia, created by Peter Mandelstam, a board member of the American Wind Energy Association
- Cirrus Wind Energy
- enXco Development Corp, owned by French energy company EDF
- Fishermen’s Energy, an offshore wind developer also working on a 25MW project off Atlantic City
- Iberdrola Renewables, the Spanish energy firm with offshore projects in development in UK and French waters
- Orisol Energy US, a company active in wind and solar photovoltaic development.
The next step in the process will be publication by BOEM in the US Federal Register of a final sale notice, after which a lease is permitted to commence no earlier than 30 days after publication.
Amended on 22 February 2013 to include correct details of Sea Breeze