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US proposes Kitty Hawk wind lease sale

Written by  OE Staff Friday, 12 August 2016 12:48

US Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Abigail Ross Hopper announced a proposed lease sale for 122,405 acres offshore North Carolina for commercial wind energy leasing.  

Image from Siemens.

The proposed lease is for the Kitty Hawk Wind Energy Area, which BOEM identified in consultation with members of its North Carolina Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force that includes membership from federal, state, tribal, and local government partners.

The area proposed for leasing is the same as the Kitty Hawk Wind Energy Area (WEA) that BOEM announced on 11 August 2014. This WEA begins about 24nm from shore and extends about 25.7nm in a general southeast direction. Its seaward extent ranges from 13.5nm in the north to .6 of a nm in the south. It contains 21.5 Outer Continental Shelf blocks. BOEM has also announced the Wilmington East and Wilmington West WEAs, which, due to their proximity and shared attributes, have been coupled with the planning and leasing process for the South Carolina Call Areas.

“This is an important and exciting milestone in our ongoing efforts to tap the vast wind energy resources along the Atlantic Coast,” said Jewell.  “The proposed lease sale is the result of thoughtful collaboration at all levels to identify areas offshore North Carolina with great wind energy potential, while minimizing conflicts with other important uses. We will continue to work with the North Carolina Renewable Energy Task Force, local communities and key stakeholders as we move forward with harnessing clean energy resources, generating jobs and stimulating local economies.”

A Proposed Sale Notice (PSN) and Request for Interest (RFI) for Commercial Leasing for Wind Power on the Outer Continental Shelf Offshore North Carolina will be published in the Federal Register on 16 August 2016, and will include a 60-day public comment period ending on 17 October 2016. 

This document provides detailed information concerning the area available for leasing, the proposed lease provisions and conditions, auction details (e.g., criteria for evaluating competing bids and award procedures) and lease execution. It includes an RFI to assess whether there has been a change in competitive interest in the area since the publication of the North Carolina Call for Information and Nominations in 2012. 

“This is a great day for North Carolina and our country as we continue to make progress on diversifying our nation’s energy portfolio,” said Hopper. “With the completion of a successful lease sale, North Carolina will move closer to obtaining substantial contributions to the region's energy supply from offshore wind. Additionally, such supply will assist local governments in achieving their renewable energy goals.”

In order to participate in the lease sale, potential bidders whom BOEM has determined are qualified to hold an OCS lease for commercial wind offshore North Carolina must submit a response to this notice by the end of the 60-day comment period, affirming their continued interest in the area being offered for leasing.

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