Portland, Ore.: The first-ever U.S. auction of leases to develop commercial-scale floating wind farms in the deep waters off the West Coast attracted $757 million in winning bids Wednesday from mostly European companies, in a project watched by other regions and countries just getting their own plans for floating offshore wind started.
The auction featured five lease areas — two in northern California and three in central California — about 25 miles off the coast that have the potential to generate 4.5 gigawatts of energy, enough for 1.5 million homes. Combined, the lease areas cover 583 square miles of Pacific Ocean.
The winning bids came from Norway’s Equinor; California North Floating, part of Denmark’s Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners; Germany’s RWE AG, and Central California Offshore Wind, a part of the French and Portuguese joint venture Ocean Winds. Invenergy was the only American company with a winning bid.