Eversource Energy has agreed to divest its 50% stake in Lease Area OCS-A 500 (Lease 500), an uncontracted federal offshore wind lease area in the US, to its partner Ørsted in an all-cash deal worth $625m.

Currently, the uncommitted lease area is jointly owned by the two companies.

Located 40.2km off the southern coast of Massachusetts, Lease 500 is in its early-stage development. It contains nearly 187,000 acres of uncontracted seabed for offshore wind energy.

The offshore wind seabed has a potential capacity of up to 4GW.

Also included in the agreement between the companies are contracts and partnerships for important operational assets in the US Northeast.

Ørsted will be acquiring contracts and leases for strategic port facilities and other assets from Eversource Energy.

Besides, the Danish power company will take 100% ownership of partnerships with the Port of Davisville, Quonset Point, and the Port of Providence, all in Rhode Island, and with the New London State Pier in Connecticut.

Furthermore, Ørsted will fully own the operations and maintenance hub in East Setauket, New York, and the charter agreement for the US-built offshore wind service operation vessel.

Ørsted Region Americas executive vice president and CEO David Hardy said: “This acquisition further demonstrates our long-term commitment to building an American offshore wind energy industry and the value creation opportunities we see in the US market.

“In addition to taking full ownership of seabed that is familiar to our team after years of work in this area, we will also be the sole bidder in our New York 3 and Rhode Island 2 active offshore wind solicitations.”

Eversource Energy has also signed a binding letter of intent with Ørsted to use a part of the proceeds from the sale of Lease 500 to provide tax equity for the 132MW South Fork Wind offshore wind farm through a new tax equity ownership interest.

The US-based company also said that it intends to advance the sale of its existing 50% stake in its three jointly owned contracted offshore wind projects, that include South Fork Wind along with Revolution Wind and Sunrise Wind, which have a combined capacity of 1.76GW.

Eversource Energy president, chairman, and CEO Joe Nolan said: “While we are pursuing an exit of the unregulated offshore wind business, Eversource is fully committed to being a catalyst to the region’s clean energy transition, with our regulated companies building many of the facilities that will enable more than 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind generation to reach the homes and businesses of Southern New England.”

The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals, is anticipated to close by the end of Q3 2023.