DONG Energy proposes Massachusetts offshore wind farm

DONG Energy has proposed an offshore wind development to be located in federal waters off the Massachusetts coast. The “Bay State Wind” project would be a utility scale offshore wind farm, located 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard.

Largely owned by the Danish government, DONG is the world’s largest developer of offshore wind projects, reportedly having built over 3,000 megawatts or about a third of all installed offshore wind capacity in the world. Other branches of the company engage in serving Danish customers, oil and natural gas exploration and production, and thermal power generation.

Because the Bay State Wind project’s site is over the outer continental shelf, it falls under federal jurisdiction for site leasing purposes under subsection 8(p) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act. The wind energy area in question was originally auctioned by the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management in January 2015. In that January auction, RES America Developments, Inc. provisionally won the rights to Lease OCS-A 0500 (187,523 acres) with a winning bid of $281,285. BOEM signed the commercial wind energy lease for the site on March 23, 2015, and the lease went into effect on April 1, 2015.

In April 2015, RES agreed to transfer the lease to DONG. In accordance with BOEM’s process for assigning a site lease, BOEM agreed to assign the lease to DONG Energy Massachusetts (U.S.) LLC on June 12.

According to DONG, full development of the Bay State Wind project might entail 1,000 megawatts of generating capacity. Its lease area is adjacent to the wind energy area offshore Rhode Island and Massachusetts won by Deepwater Wind in 2013 in BOEM’s first competitive lease sale for offshore wind sites.