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A busy week for offshore wind in both Europe and in the US, showing a strong growth of projects on the horizon.

Ørsted and Eversource’s Sunrise Wind (924 MW) and Equinor’s Empire Wind I (810 MW) secured offshore wind renewable energy certificate (OREC) agreements in New York solicitation round 4. The developers for both projects have stated that the further progress was conditional on the results of the solicitation round, and a final investment decision (FID) on both projects is now expected mid-2024, adding an additional 1734 MW combined capacity ready to be installed in the US. Ørsted will also take full ownership of Sunrise Wind from Eversource, a deal also conditional on a positive outcome in the round.

The UK has kicked off the Celtic Sea allocation round, aiming to award 4500 MW to floating offshore wind projects, split between three sites of 1500 MW each. The round has already attracted significant interest, with Esgian counting 19 different consortia projects in the works from developers. Results for the round are expected in 2025.

The Netherlands has opened for bids on the IJmuiden Ver Alpha and Beta fixed sites, both with a capacity of 2000 MW. These are the largest offshore wind site yet to be put on offer for developers in the country, and the capacity on the sites themselves would almost equal what the Netherlands has operational today. Results of the round are expected Q2/Q3 2024.

Germany follows up on last year’s record-breaking allocation rounds and has launched a 5500 MW round for three fixed sites in the North Sea, two 2000 MW sites, and one 1500 MW site. The sites have been pre-centrally investigated and the first project (1500 MW) is expected to be complete by 2029, with the two others by 2031/2032. Results expected in Q3 2024.

With a combined capacity put on offer to developers this week at 14000 MW in Europe, and 1734 MW set to get the green light soon from developers in the US, the outlook for the industry is ticking up, after a year defined by cost increases, inflation, and supply-chain constraints.

Image Credit: Crosswind ( Installation on Hollandse Kust Noord by Scylla)

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