Statoil Wins U.S. Offshore Wind Lease Off New York

Offshore wind turbines at the United States' first offshore wind farm, the Block Island Wind Farm, which went live December 12, 2016.
Offshore wind turbines at the United States’ first offshore wind farm, the Block Island Wind Farm, which went live December 12, 2016. Photo: Deepwater Wind

Norwegian energy giant Statoil has been declared the provisional winner of the U.S. government’s wind lease sale of 79,350 acres offshore New York.

The win will allow Statoil the opportunity to explore the potential development of an offshore wind farm to provide New York City and Long Island with a significant, long-term source of renewable electricity.

Statoil submitted a winning bid of $42,469,725 during the online offshore wind auction concluded Friday by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).

“We are excited to have submitted the most competitive bid in a highly attractive project, Statoil’s first offshore wind lease in the United States. We now look forward to working with New York’s state agencies and contribute to New York meeting its future energy needs by applying our offshore experience and engineering expertise,” says Irene Rummelhoff, Statoil´s executive vice president for New Energy Solutions.

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 14-30 miles (30-60 km) offshore, spans 79,350 acres (321 km2), and covers water depths between 65 and 131 feet (20-40 meters).

Next Statoil will conduct studies to better understand the seabed conditions, the grid connection options and wind resources involved in the lease site.

“We will work closely with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) on these studies and throughout the permitting process, and in connection with power offtake options,” says Rummelhoff.

The State of New York projects that offshore wind will be a significant part of the renewable energy generation needed to meet its Clean Energy Standard in 2030.

The United States’ first offshore wind farm, the Block Island Wind Farm, went live on December 12 and is expected to hit full power next month. 

“The US is a key emerging market for offshore wind – both bottom-fixed and floating – with significant potential along both the east and west coasts. As today’s announcement shows, Statoil is well positioned to take part in what could be a significant build out of offshore wind in New York and other states over the next decade. This effort is in line with the company’s strategy to gradually complement our oil and gas portfolio with viable renewable energy and other low-carbon solutions,” says Rummelhoff.

In Europe, Statoil is developing an offshore wind portfolio with the capacity of providing over 1 million homes with renewable energy. Statoil currently holds a 40% share in the Sheringham Shoal wind farm in the UK, which has been in production since 2012. The Dudgeon offshore wind farm, also located offshore Norfolk in the UK – and the world’s first floating offshore wind farm, Hywind Scotland – will come in production in 2017. Earlier this year, Statoil acquired 50% of the Arkona offshore wind farm in Germany, which will come in production in 2019.