France energy giant TotalEnergies and U.S. power company Duke Energy Corp were the winners of two offshore wind leases in federal waters off the coast of North and South Carolina on Wednesday, the Interior Department said in a statement.
Winning bids amounted to $315 million, with Duke paying $155 million and TotalEnergies paying $160 million.
The auction total was far less than the $4.37 billion in high bids generated at a February wind auction off the coast of New York and New Jersey.
The sale is part of the Biden administration's broad push to put wind turbines in federal waters along every U.S. coastline.
U.S. President Joe Biden has said the nascent offshore wind industry will create well-paying jobs while creating the carbon-free electricity needed to combat climate change. His administration aims to permit 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030.
(Reuters - Reporting by Nichola Groom, additional reporting by Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Aurora Ellis, Kirsten Donovan and Bernard Orr)