RES America to transfer offshore wind lease to DONG Energy

RES America Developments Inc. (RES), a subsidiary of Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc., said Feb. 9 that it has reached an agreement to transfer a U.S. offshore wind development lease off the coast of New Jersey to DONG Energy.

On Nov. 9, 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) held a commercial auction for two offshore wind leases on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) off the coast of New Jersey with a capacity of approximately 2,000 MW. RES secured the lease for Area OCS-A 0498 (South Area), an area which could accommodate more than 1,000 MW to be built after 2020. RES has applied to the BOEM to transfer its rights to this area to DONG Energy.

In 2014, RES and DONG Energy agreed to cooperate on offshore wind projects in New Jersey (and Massachusetts). Under that agreement, and subject to the approval of the BOEM, DONG Energy will take over the lease and RES will provide support through project development services. In 2015, RES struck a similar agreement transferring to DONG Energy its Massachusetts OCS Lease.

Glen Davis, CEO of RES, Americas, stated: “We are excited to be continuing our close relationship with DONG Energy through this major project as they increase their participation in the U.S. market. Leveraging our development expertise, along with DONG Energy’s experience in offshore wind, we look forward to helping the BOEM with their goal to create jobs, develop clean energy resources, and reduce carbon emissions.”

Samuel Leupold, DONG Energy’s Executive Vice President of Wind Power, said: “The U.S. is an interesting market for offshore wind with the potential to become a significant area for future development. With the transfer of the offshore wind development projects in the U.S., we are broadening our international scope. The site conditions are quite similar to those we currently work with in North-Western Europe which means that the project could be developed using well-known technology.”

The Lease Area to be transferred is 160,480 acres, and is located seven nautical miles to 21 nautical miles from shore with water depths around 24 meters.

The New Jersey lease is the second U.S. lease area for DONG Energy. The acquisition of the company’s first U.S. lease area was approved by BOEM in June 2015 along the coast of Massachusetts.

Thomas Brostrøm, General Manager of North America, Wind Power, said, “DONG Energy’s entry into New Jersey is extremely exciting. As the world leader of offshore wind development, I look forward to developing a pipeline of projects in the U.S. and potentially an industry.”

The New Jersey competitive lease auction was the ninth competitive lease sale by the U.S. government for renewable energy in federal waters for potential offshore wind energy development. Prior to the New Jersey competitive lease auction, the Department of Interior’s BOEM had awarded nine commercial offshore wind leases, including seven through the competitive lease sale process (two in an area offshore Rhode Island-Massachusetts, another two offshore Massachusetts, two offshore Maryland and one offshore Virginia).

Bay State Wind is DONG Energy’s first project in the U.S. On April 7, 2015, the company secured newly assigned project development rights to an ocean area south of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, that was made available for lease by BOEM in a competitive solicitation. With water depths between 130-165 feet, this site sits about 15 nautical miles from the nearest landmass, Bay State Wind is proposing to use that site to build a utility-scale offshore wind farm with an installed capacity of up to 1,000 MW.

DONG Energy is one of the leading energy groups in Northern Europe, headquartered in Denmark.

Since 1997, RES has been providing development, engineering, construction, and operations services to the utility-scale wind, solar, transmission, and energy storage markets across the Americas. The company has over 8,000 MW of utility-scale renewable energy and energy storage projects and constructed more than 800 miles of transmissions lines throughout the U.S., Canada, and Chile.

RES Offshore offers integrated development, engineering, construction and AO&M services for utility-scale offshore wind, wave and tidal energy projects internationally. RES Offshore has more than 15 years’ experience in offshore wind development having worked on the development of over 5,000 MW of which more than 350 MW has been successfully consented and is now in operation. RES Offshore is also part of the RES Group, one of the world’s leading independent renewable energy companies.

The RES Group has developed and/or built over 10 GW of renewable energy capacity worldwide, has an asset management portfolio exceeding 1 GW, and is active in a range of renewable technologies including onshore wind, solar, energy storage, transmission, and demand side management.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.