The federal government this week released a proposed sale notice for mid-Atlantic lease areas off the coasts of Delaware and Virginia.
The Bureau of Ocean Management, or BOEM, plans to hold a lease sale for two previously identified wind energy areas, including one a little more than 40 miles off Virginia’s coast.
According to the Southeastern Wind Coalition, three wind energy areas spanning more than 336,000 acres off Virginia’s shores have the potential to exceed that state’s 5.6 gigawatt offshore wind goal.
“Additional development opportunities in proximity to Virginia not only provide the Commonwealth with clean energy options, but support the development of an offshore wind supply chain and workforce in the Hampton Roads region,” according to a coalition release. “Every GW of new development is anticipated to yield 5,200 direct and indirect jobs in Virginia and more than $740 million in economic output. Additional Central Atlantic lease sales are necessary to help North Carolina and other southeastern states realize the full economic potential of offshore wind.”
BOEM-approved wind fields including the Kitty Hawk and Wilmington East wind energy areas off North Carolina’s coast have been leased to three companies for more than $320 million.
Wind turbines to be built in those areas are expected to generate a combination of up to more than 4.5 GW of energy – enough to power an estimated 1.2 million homes, according to the coalition.
The nonprofit works in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Louisiana, focusing on offshore and land-based wind, wind imports and the wind industry’s supply chain.