Latest US seabed auction saw prices drop to a third

Only three bidders had enough drive to go past USD 100m in the auction for two leases in Carolina Long Bay, where a newcomer and a major US player within US offshore wind ended up winning the rights to the sites for a total price of USD 315m.

Photo: GE Renewable Energy

Everything is relative, as the saying goes. Just eight years ago, the US Federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) practically couldn’t allocate as much as a spoonful of seabed for offshore developers. Meanwhile, the New York Bight auction in February saw throngs of companies willing to fork out nearly USD 4.4bn to set up farms off the east coast of the US.

In this light, Wednesday’s auction for two leases in the Carolina Long Bay area landed somewhere in between. TotalEnergies, which also had the most money to spend at the New York Bight auction, won one area with a bid of USD 160m. Meanwhile, US utility Duke Energy snatched up the other lease at a price of USD 155m. The total for the two came to USD 315m.

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