(Updates with comment from Interior Secretary in fourth paragraph.)
Aug. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Renexia SpA, an Italian renewable energy developer, agreed to pay $8.7 million for two leases off the Maryland coast to build commercial-scale wind farms.
The sites have a total of almost 80,000 acres (32,370 hectares), enough to install turbines capable of powering about 300,000 homes, the U.S. Interior Department said in a statement today. The leases allow for 25 years of operations.
There are no commercial-scale wind farms in U.S. waters, and the Interior Department is seeking to encourage development. Additional lease sales are planned later this year for areas offshore Massachusetts and New Jersey.
The auction results “are a major achievement and reflect industry confidence as we strengthen our nation’s foothold in this new energy frontier,” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in the statement.
Renexia’s US Wind Inc. unit submitted the winning bid in round 19 of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management auction today. Green Sail Energy LLC and SCS Maryland Energy LLC were the other participants in the event, according to the statement. As many as 16 companies were expected to submit bids.
The bureau has hosted two other competitive auctions for three sites off the coasts of Massachusetts and Virginia, raising more than $5 million. It also awarded two non- competitive offshore leases, near Delaware and Massachusetts.