European Firms Request for Wind Energy Leases in Two US States

offshore wind energy leases
Image Source: Martin Cooper, CC BY 2.0

Two European companies—Statoil Wind US LLC and PNE Wind AG—have requested for federal offshore wind energy leases off the coasts of New York and Massachusetts.

In their requests, Statoil Wind (a subsidiary of the Norwegian energy company Statoil) and PNE Wind (a subsidiary of German wind developer PNE Wind AG) are bidding on two areas of the federal waters of Massachusetts, totaling up to 388,569 acres. As for the New York project, PNE has proposed to lease 40,920 acres east of the nearly 80,000-acre wind energy lease by Statoil. These leases are to be granted by the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). According to the bureau:

“PNE Wind has submitted three separate unsolicited requests for Lease — one off the coast of Long Island in New York, and two off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts — and Statoil has submitted for the same area.”

But like other offshore wind energy leases, these projects also come with challenges. Just recently, commercial fishing groups have legally challenged Statoil’s New York lease, arguing that it was not adequately evaluated by the BOEM on its impact on squid and scallop fishing. While the complaint was not recognized by the federal judge, fishing groups stated that they will continue to oppose the project.

Supporters of wind power publicly express optimism for offshore wind facilities and similar projects. However, it is still uncertain how developers will fare under the new administration of President Donald Trump.