RWE has secured a lease area in the Gulf of Mexico with a capacity to develop up to 2 gigawatts of fixed-bottom offshore wind and power over 350,000 U.S homes with clean energy. Company will tap into the Gulf’s existing energy workforce and world-class supply chain to bring offshore wind into a new market. RWE’s U.S. offshore wind development portfolio now totals about 5.9 GW capacity, including New York Bight and California seabed awards in 2022.
RWE, a leading offshore wind company globally, has been successful in the U.S. Department of the Interior’s (DOI) first-ever Gulf of Mexico offshore wind lease auction, securing Lease Area OCS-G 37334 with a winning bid of USD 5.6 million. The DOI’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) led the auction which consisted of three lease areas with the potential to host a total installed capacity of over 3.7 gigawatts (GW) in offshore wind.
Sven Utermöhlen, CEO of RWE Offshore Wind: “With today’s success in the Gulf of Mexico, RWE continues to build its position in the U.S. offshore wind industry. In 2022 we entered the U.S. 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.”
RWE’s awarded site is 44 miles off the coast of Louisiana and has water depths of 10-25 meters. The lease area has the potential to host up to 2 GW of new capacity, enough to power over 350,000 U.S. homes with clean energy. The project is expected to be in operation by the mid-2030s, contingent upon permitting timelines.
Under Governor John Bel Edwards’ Climate Action Plan Louisiana has set a goal to achieve 5 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2035. RWE has made early investments into jumpstarting the offshore wind industry in the region, including a collaboration with Greater New Orleans, Inc. to accelerate the engagement of Louisiana’s supply chain to identify companies with transferable capabilities for offshore wind.
According to a report by the Business Network for Offshore Wind, the Gulf Coast has already received 24% of offshore wind contracts in the U.S. Additionally, RWE has a signed Memorandum of Understanding with Entergy, which owns and operates one of the cleanest large-scale US power generation fleets, to evaluate the delivery of clean energy from offshore wind to customers in Louisiana and Texas.
The next step for RWE is to ramp-up outreach with the local community, Tribal Nations, the commercial and recreational fishing industry, and other ocean users; engage with the domestic supply chain to localize content, create new local jobs and private investments.
RWE is one of the world’s leading companies in offshore wind, active across the entire value chain, from project conception and development to construction as well as operation and maintenance. The unparalleled expertise the company has earned over the last 20 years has resulted in 19 offshore wind farms in operation across five countries. The company has a goal to increase its offshore wind capacity to 8 GW globally by 2030.
The U.S. plays a key role in RWE’s strategy to grow its renewables business. In 2022, RWE was successful in two rounds of federal leasing, acquiring commercial scale lease areas on both coasts of the U.S. On the east coast, RWE, as part of a joint venture with National Grid Ventures, is developing Community Offshore Wind, a fixed-bottom project with a potential installed capacity of more than 3 GW. In California, the company is developing one of the first commercial scale floating offshore wind projects with a potential installed capacity of 1.6 GW.
With 8 GW of installed capacity, RWE is the number four renewable energy company in the U.S and the country’s second largest solar owner and operator. RWE’s 1,500 local employees are currently developing a platform of more than 24 GW, one of the largest in the U.S.