NRG signs Delaware offshore wind lease

WASHINGTON — Federal officials say NRG Energy has been awarded a lease for an offshore wind power farm 11 miles off the Delaware coast.

Federal officials say the lease announced Tuesday is the first under a new streamlined leasing approach. However, an NRG spokesman says that while the lease brings offshore wind another step closer, it doesn’t oblige the company to build the project.

NRG announced late last year that it had ended an offshore wind power contract with Delmarva Power. NRG spokesman David Gaier says that despite that decision, the company had planned to pursue the lease as part of a strategy to preserve assets until the offshore wind power market recovers.

Federal officials say the five-year lease calls for NRG to pay $300,000 a year until commercial operations begin.