WASHINGTON – Bidding for two wind farm lease areas off the coasts of Rhode Island and Massachusetts in federal waters began Wednesday morning through the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management website.
As of 1:40 p.m., the auction was in its fourth round of bidding.
For the north lease area, which covers about 97,500 acres, the bid stood at $535,071. On the south lease area, about 67,250 acres, the bid was $94,153.
In each round, BOEM sets a price and participating companies either agree to it or submit an exit bid and leave the auction. Of nine eligible companies, two entered the first round of bidding for each lease area.
As of the fourth round, only one company remained in the south area auction. However, a company may choose to jump from the north to the south lease area in a future bidding round.
BOEM is not releasing the names of the bidders until the auction is complete.
Rounds of bidding will continue until there is a winner for both areas. If the auction is not complete by 5 p.m. Wednesday, it will resume at 10:30 a.m. Thursday.
The site is the first designated wind energy area in the federal government’s effort to develop offshore wind energy and has the potential to power more than 1 million homes with electricity.
The lease auctions represent the “ultimate goal in the region” for Providence-based Deepwater Wind LLC, Providence Business News has reported. Deepwater is one of nine companies eligible to bid for the leases, and spokesperson Meaghan Wims said Wednesday the company is participating in the auction.