North Carolina Activities
On March 16, 2017, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Acting Director Walter Cruickshank announced the completion of the nation’s seventh competitive lease sale for renewable wind energy in federal waters. A Wind Energy Area of 122,405 acres offshore Kitty Hawk, North Carolina received the high bid of $9,066,650 from Avangrid Renewables, LLC, the provisional winner. To read more, click here.
A summary of bidding results can be found here.
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.
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.
Proposed Sale Notice and Request for Interest
On August 12, 2016, BOEM announced the release of the Atlantic Wind Lease Sale 7 Proposed Sale Notice (PSN) and Request for Interest (RFI) for 122,405 acres offshore North Carolina. The PSN and RFI published in the Federal Register on August 16, 2016.
The PSN requested that any prospective bidders already qualified for commercial wind energy development offshore North Carolina affirm their continued interest and requested public comments on BOEM’s proposal to auction one lease offshore North Carolina for commercial wind energy development. Information related to the PSN and RFI is located below.
Final Sale Notice
On January 17, 2017, BOEM announced the publication of the Final Sale Notice (FSN) for a lease sale offshore North Carolina. The lease area is located 24 nautical miles (nm) from shore and extends 25.7 nm in a general southeast direction. Its seaward extent ranges from 13.5 nm in the north to 0.6 nm in the south. It contains approximately 21.5 Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) blocks (122,405 acres).
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/.
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
- Interior Department Auctions Over 122,000 Acres Offshore Kitty Hawk, North Carolina for Wind Energy Development (Mar. 16, 2017)
- Interior Department to Auction 122,000 Acres Offshore North Carolina for Wind Energy Development (Jan. 17, 2017)
- Interior Announces Milestone for Wind Energy Development Offshore North Carolina (Aug 12, 2016)
- BOEM Announces Major Step for Renewable Energy Offshore North Carolina (Sep. 17, 2015)
- Milestone Reached for Commercial Wind Energy Development Offshore North Carolina (Jan. 22, 2015)
- Secretary Jewell Announces Milestone for Commercial Wind Energy Development Offshore North Carolina (Aug. 11, 2014)
- BOEM Extends Public Comment Period for Wind Energy Offshore North Carolina (Feb. 4, 2013)
- BOEM Seeks Industry Interest in Renewable Wind Energy Offshore North Carolina (Dec. 12, 2012)
- BOEM Announces Next Steps for Proposed Mid-Atlantic Wind Energy Transmission Line (Dec. 20, 2011)
- BOEM Seeks Public Input on Offshore Wind Energy Development’s Potential Impacts on Historic Properties (Oct. 20, 2011)