Orsted’s US chief claimed the record sums paid in February’s $4.4bn New York Bight seabed leasing auction will “slow the offshore energy transition” and drive up costs of offshore wind.

David Hardy, CEO of Orsted North America offshore wind, told the Financial Times the round represented a “missed opportunity” for the US sector as it balanced the need to invest in local supply chains and manage costs.

“What does that [the $4.4bn] do for the industry,” Hardy said.