Iberdrola will participate in the 'mega-auction' for the development of offshore wind energy to be held next February, which will put at stake leases for the development of between 5.6 and 7 (GW) of power in waters off the coast of New York and New Jersey.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced the launch of the auction on 23 February, when more than 480,000 acres (194,250 hectares), the largest area ever offered in the country at auction, will be up for grabs for offshore wind development in the area known as the New York Bight. This will be the first offshore wind auction under Joe Biden's administration and the first offshore wind lease sale in the country in more than three years.Avangrid, Iberdrola's US subsidiary, confirmed that it will be bidding in this auction for a technology such as offshore.
"Given our offshore wind project portfolio of 4.9 gigawatts (GW), we look forward to participating in this historic auction," said Avangrid CEO Dennis V. Arriola, who highlighted the company's "solid track record" in developing these projects.
In this way, the group chaired by Ignacio Sánchez Galán reaffirms its commitment to the United States, despite the setback it suffered at the end of last year, after the New Mexico state regulator overturned Iberdrola's purchase of PNM Resources, a decision appealed in court, which has given it until 2023 to complete the transaction.
Offshore wind represents a strategic commitment for Iberdrola, especially in a market like the US, where it is the leader in the country after increasing its portfolio to 4,900 megawatts (MW), after taking control of the portfolio of more than 2,000 MW of offshore wind capacity that it shared with the Danish fund Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP).
The Biden Administration has shown its firm commitment to offshore wind with a plan to install 30 GW of this technology by 2030 in the country.
In the United States, Iberdrola owns 100% of Commonwealth Wind, a 1,232 MW project in New England, which was selected in December to supply offshore wind power to utilities in Massachusetts. It also has sole ownership of Park City Wind, an 804 MW project in Connecticut, which is at an advanced stage of development, with a long-term contract (PPA) secured and BOEM permits in the pipeline.
In addition, the energy company retains 50% of the 800 MW Vineyard Wind 1 wind farm in Massachusetts, whose construction began in the last quarter of last year, as well as the right to take control of it during the operation phase. When it comes online in 2024, Vineyard Wind 1 will be the first commercial-scale offshore wind farm to operate in the country.
It also owns the Kitty Hawk development area (2,500 MW) in North Carolina and has already started the BOEM permitting process for the Kitty Hawk North project (800 MW), the first project to be developed in this area, and manages other farms at an earlier stage of development.
In total, Iberdrola's investment in its offshore portfolio in the United States could exceed 15 billion dollars (around 13.232 billion euros) in the coming years.
In two decades operating in the United States, the Spanish group has grown in the country through Avangrid, being present in 25 states and managing more than 8,000 MW of generation capacity and more than 170,000 kilometres of power lines through eight utilities in New York, Connecticut, Maine and Massachusetts, serving a population of seven million people, with 3.3 million direct customers.
The group plans to invest more than $30 billion (about 26.463 billion euros) between 2020 and 2025 in transmission and distribution networks and renewables, which will allow it to nearly double its renewable capacity by 2025.