The six lots for sale are located in an area called the New York Bight and have a total area of nearly 2,000 square kilometers (488,000 acres), the largest renewable energy auction in the United States ever held.
The development of the six extensions could generate up to 7 gigawatts of wind power, enough to serve two million homes, officials said.
“The investments we are seeing today will play an important role in the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to tackling the climate crisis,” Home Secretary Deb Haaland said in a statement.
The Ministry of Interior added that companies that submitted bids to install and operate turbines in these areas quickly exceeded previous levels and the auction resulted in “the largest returns from energy tenders in history, including oil and gas.”
At the last offshore development auction held in 2018, lots were auctioned for about $1,040 per acre, while this time around $9.00 an acre after three days and 64 bidding rounds.
Bids started at $48.8 million, and Bight Wind Holdings’ largest contract went for $1.1 billion.
The authorities had agreed to the participation of 25 companies in the auction.
As part of the fight against climate change, the administration of President Joe Biden has set a goal of producing 30 gigawatts of offshore wind power by 2030.
Currently, only two wind farms are produced in the United States, generating a modest 42 megawatts.
Two major offshore wind projects were approved last year by the Biden administration: Vineyard Winds in Massachusetts and South Ford Winds in Rhode Island.
A review of at least 16 projects to build and operate offshore wind farm facilities by 2025 is also under consideration, and at least six auctions are planned until that year.
The projects are expected to be located off the coast of North Carolina and California.
The winning companies agreed to various conditions including hiring unionized workers and complying with environmental regulations.
They also committed to establishing dialogue with the Native American tribes in these areas with fishermen and communities that might be affected by the installation of the turbines.
This auction was just the beginning of a process that could take several years as companies still had to obtain building permits.
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