WASHINGTON – Waters off the northeast North Carolina coast will be offered in a commercial wind lease sale on March 16, the Obama administration announced Tuesday.
Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Acting Director Walter Cruickshank announced the lease sale that covers 122,405 acres offshore Kitty Hawk.
“Today’s announcement demonstrates how our collaborative efforts with Federal, state and local partners over the past eight years have built a foundation to harness the enormous potential of offshore wind energy,” Jewell said in a statement. “The lease sale underscores the growing market demand for renewable energy and strong industry interest in meeting that demand.”
The Interior Department recently marked the operational launch of the nation’s first offshore wind farm off the coast of Rhode Island, and the lease sale for more than 79,000 acres offshore New York. To date, BOEM has held six competitive lease sales, which have generated more than $58 million in high bids for more than one million acres in federal waters.
The Kitty Hawk lease area begins about 24 nautical miles from shore and extends 25.7 nautical miles in a general southeast direction. Its seaward extent ranges from 13.5 nautical miles in the north to 0.6 nautical miles in the south.
BOEM has deemed nine companies qualified to participate in the upcoming lease sale:
- Avangrid Renewables, LLC
- Enbridge Holdings (Green Energy) LLC
- Shell WindEnergy Inc.
- Northland Power America Inc.
- Wind Future LLC
- Outer Banks Ocean Energy, LLC
- PNE Wind USA, Inc.
- Statoil Wind US LLC
- wpd offshore Alpha LLC
The official notice will be published in the Federal Register on Thursday; the lease area will be auctioned as Lease OCS-A 0508.
In September 2015, BOEM published a revised environmental assessment for commercial wind lease issuance and related activities within the three areas off the North Carolina coast, Kitty Hawk wind energy area, the Wilmington East area, and Wilmington West area.
The Wilmington East and Wilmington West areas are now part of the planning and leasing process for the South Carolina areas.
- The Kitty Hawk lease area, upcoming auction, and revised environmental assessment
- South Carolina’s leasing process
- Obama’s Climate Action Plan