offshore wind farm

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Biden Administration Sets Date for Next Offshore Wind Lease Sale Off the Carolinas

Mike Schuler
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March 25, 2022

The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will hold its next offshore wind lease sale off the Carolinas in May.

The lease areas being offered cover 110,091 acres in the Carolina Long Bay area that, if developed, could result in at least 1.3 gigawatts of offshore wind energy, enough to power nearly 500,000 homes.

The announcement comes after BOEM raised more than $4.3 billion during its last wind lease auction, held in February, in the New York Bight offshore New York and New Jersey. The lease sale was the highest-grossing offshore energy auction in U.S. history.

“The Biden-Harris administration is committed to supporting a robust clean energy economy, and the upcoming Carolina Long Bay offshore wind energy auction provides yet another excellent opportunity to strengthen the clean energy industry while creating good-paying union jobs,” said Secretary Deb Haaland. “This is an historic time for domestic offshore wind energy development. We will continue using every tool in our toolbox to tackle the climate crisis, reduce our emissions to reach the President’s bold goals, and advance environmental justice.”

Credit: BOEM

The Carolina Long Bay offshore wind energy auction, to be held May 11, will allow offshore wind developers to bid on one or both of the lease areas within the Wilmington East Wind Energy Area (WEA), as described in BOEM’s Final Sale Notice (FSN). The FSN includes several lease stipulations designed to promote the development of the domestic offshore wind industry, transmission planning, and labor agreements.

Today’s announcement comes after BOEM completed its environmental review of the sites.

“BOEM is focused on ensuring that any development offshore North Carolina is done responsibly, in a way that avoids or minimizes potential impacts to the ocean and ocean users in the region,” said BOEM Director Amanda Lefton. “The milestones announced today mark significant progress in achieving this Administration’s goal for deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030, while creating jobs and strengthening a sustainable domestic supply chain.”

The Biden Administration has set a target of seven potential lease sales by 2025, including the upcoming Carolina Long Bay lease sale and last month’s New York Bight lease sale. Lease sales offshore California and Oregon, as well as in the Central Atlantic, Gulf of Maine, and the Gulf of Mexico are expected to follow.

More information on the lease sale can be found on BOEM’s?Carolina Long Bay website.

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