North Carolina Activities

 North Carolina Wind Energy Areas
North Carolina Wind Energy Areas

Overview

The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act requires BOEM to award renewable energy leases competitively, unless BOEM determines there is no competitive interest.  So, on Dec. 13, 2012, BOEM published a Call for Information and Nominations (or “Call”) in the Federal Register (under Docket ID: BOEM-2012-0088) for a 45-day public comments period to gauge the offshore wind industry's interest in acquiring commercial wind leases in three areas offshore North Carolina and to request comments regarding site conditions, resources and other uses within the Call areas. On Feb. 5, 2013, BOEM reopened the comment period for the Call to allow for additional public input.  The comment period for the North Carolina Call for Information and Nominations (DOCKET ID: BOEM-2012-0088) closed on March 7, 2013. Materials related to the Call are below.

Environmental Review

In addition to the Call, BOEM published in the Federal Register a “Notice of Intent (NOI) to Prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA)” on Dec. 13, 2012 (under Docket ID: BOEM-2012-0090). BOEM extended the public comment period until Mar. 7, 2013. The EA will consider potential environmental and socioeconomic impacts associated with issuing commercial wind leases and approving site assessment activities on the lease areas.

On January 23, 2015, BOEM published the EA for public review and comment. BOEM carefully considered all comments received and, on September 17, 2015, made available a revised EA for the WEAs offshore North Carolina. As a result of the analysis in the revised EA, BOEM issued a "Finding of No Significant Impact" (FONSI), which concluded that reasonably foreseeable environmental effects associated with the commercial wind lease issuance and related activities would not significantly impact the environment. For more information, click on the links below:

Simulations of Potential Visual Impacts

BOEM partnered with the National Park Service to create state of the art visual simulations of a wind energy facility offshore North Carolina. BOEM held Visual Simulation Open Houses in North Carolina to provide an opportunity to review the results of the Offshore Wind Visualization Study, which focused on locations within the Cape Hatteras and Cape Lookout National Seashores. The photo simulations, videos, and additional information on the study can be found here.

Wind Energy Area Identification

On Aug. 11, 2014, BOEM announced that it has identified three WEAs offshore North Carolina:

  • The Kitty Hawk WEA begins about 24 nm from shore and extends approximately 25.7 nm in a general southeast direction. Its seaward extent ranges from 13.5 nm in the north to .6 nm in the south. It contains approximately 21.5 Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) blocks (122,405 acres).
  • The Wilmington West WEA begins about 10 nm from shore and extends approximately 12.3 nm in an east-west direction at its widest point. It contains just over 9 OCS blocks (approximately 51,595 acres).
  • The Wilmington East WEA begins about 15 nm from Bald Head Island at its closest point and extends approximately 18 nm in the southeast direction at its widest point. It contains approximately 25 OCS blocks (133,590 acres).

For additional information about the WEAs offshore North Carolina, click on the link below.

Environmental Studies

BOEM has funded or considered numerous studies to collect information about the marine environment to support decisions concerning offshore renewable energy development. For more information, please visit: http://www.boem.gov/North-Carolina-Environmental-Studies/.

Public Engagement

BOEM coordinates Outer Continental Shelf renewable energy activities with its federal, state, local, and tribal government partners through its North Carolina Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force. BOEM also coordinates public information meetings to help keep interested stakeholders updated on major renewable energy milestones. To obtain information discussed during these meetings click on the links below.

Related Press Releases