On May 11, 2022, BOEM held an offshore wind auction for two lease areas in the Carolina Long Bay. The lease sale drew competitive winning bids from two companies totaling approximately $315 million.
- Press Release: Biden-Harris Administration Announces Winners of Carolina Long Bay Offshore Wind Energy Auction
- Round by Round Results: ATLW-9 Carolina Long Bay
- Executed Leases
On March 25, 2022, the Department of the Interior announced that it has completed its environmental review and will hold a wind energy auction for two lease areas on May 11, 2022. The lease areas include 110,091 acres in the Carolina Long Bay area offshore North Carolina and South Carolina. If developed, they could result in at least 1.3 gigawatts of offshore wind energy, enough to power nearly 500,000 homes. Materials related to this announcement are below.
- Final Supplemental Environmental Assessment (March 25, 2022)
- Carolina Long Bay Final Sale Notice
- Commercial Leases
- Carolina Long Bay Final Sale Notice Decision Memorandum
- Carolina Long Bay Final Sale Notice Response to Comments
- Bidder's Financial Form
- EFT Payment Instructions
- Auction System Technical Supplement
On October 28, 2021, the Department of the Interior announced a proposed lease sale for offshore wind development for an area in the Carolina Long Bay area offshore North Carolina and South Carolina. Materials related to this announcement are below.
On August 13, 2021, BOEM issued a Note to Stakeholders on the Draft Supplement Environmental Assessment for Carolina Long Bay.
The Regional Carolina Long Bay Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force meeting took place virtually on Wednesday, July 21, 2021. The meeting outlined the basic principles and major decision points BOEM is considering for offshore renewable energy leasing in the Carolina Long Bay area. BOEM also updated task force members on recent planning activities.
During the previous NEPA analysis, consultation under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act was covered by a biological opinion (BO) which was issued in 2013 and valid until 2020. The BO considered site characterization and site assessment activities that may occur as a result of:
- BOEM’s own planning analysis;
- Unsolicited lease application to actualize plans for a renewable energy facility;
- Request for approval of a Site Assessment Plan to construct a meteorological tower or install meteorological buoys;
- Request for approval of a Construction and Operations Plan;
- Request for approval of a General Activities Plan
In December 2021, BOEM released the draft SEA which considered new information relevant to environmental considerations that were not available when BOEM originally published the Commercial Wind Lease Issuance and Site Assessment Activities on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf Offshore North Carolina - Revised Environmental Assessment in 2015.
- Commercial Wind Lease Issuance and Site Assessment Activities on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf Offshore North Carolina -- Draft Supplemental Environmental Assessment (December 2021)
Specifically, BOEM was proposing a lease sale for the Wilmington East Wind Energy Area (WEA), located in the Carolina Long Bay Area offshore North Carolina. The area proposed for the lease sale consists of approximately 127,865 acres and includes the majority of the Wilmington East WEA, which has the potential to unlock over 1.5 GW of offshore wind energy and power more than 500,000 homes.
BOEM’s SEA assessed the potential impacts from the issuance of commercial leases within the Wilmington East WEA. Potential impacts include those that could occur from site characterization activities (i.e., shallow hazards, geological, geotechnical, archeological, and biological surveys of the lease area and potential cable routes) and site assessment activities (i.e., installation and operation of meteorological buoys) associated with issuing wind energy leases in the WEA.
BOEM hosted two virtual public meetings to provide an overview of the draft SEA and to obtain public input. The meetings were held on:
For more information, please see: North Carolina Draft Supplemental Environmental Assessment Virtual Meeting Room
Commercial Wind Lease Issuance and Site Assessment Activities on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf Offshore North Carolina - Final Supplemental Environmental Assessment (March 25, 2022)