German utility RWE has emerged as the only winner in the latest offshore wind lease auction conducted by the US Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), winning 1.24GW of capacity.
RWE won the lease for the offshore site known as Lease Area OCS-G 37334, located 44 miles (70.8km) off the coast of Louisiana. The company placed a winning bid of $5.6m (€5.15m) for the location, where water depths reach between ten metres and 25m.
BOEM also put up three lease areas with a potential installed capacity of 3.7GW in the Gulf of Mexico.
The offshore wind farm won by RWE will be completed in the mid-2030s and will generate enough clean energy to power 350,000 US homes.
RWE offshore wind CEO Sven Utermöhlen stated: “With today’s success in the Gulf of Mexico, RWE continues to build its position in the US offshore wind industry. In 2022 we entered the US offshore market and quickly expanded from coast to coast. Entering a new region in the Gulf is an exciting milestone to further deploy over 20 years of expertise across the value chain and deliver a new energy resource into the region.
“We look forward to shaping this new market together with our stakeholders to activate the full potential of offshore wind for the region.”
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In March 2023, the German company signed a memorandum of understanding with Entergy to evaluate the potential of power generation capability through offshore wind across the states of Louisiana and Texas.
The company will now begin its outreach to local communities, First Nations, the commercial and recreational fishing industry and other ocean users. It will also begin engaging with the domestic supply chain for local production of wind farm components.
With this win added to its New York Bight and California seabed awards, which were achieved in 2022, RWE’s US offshore wind development portfolio has now reached 5.9GW.