The US Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) plans to offer a lease sale for 122,405 acres off the coast of Kitty Hawk in North Carolina to develop windfarms.
Known as Kitty Hawk Wind Energy Area (WEA), the proposed site is located 24 nautical miles from shore and extends in a southeast direction for around 25.7 nautical miles. It ranges from 13.5 nautical miles in the north to 0.6 nautical miles in the south.
In order to lease WEA, the BOEM entered into talks with members of its North Carolina Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force, which includes federal, state, tribal, and local government partners.
The US Department of Interior's secretary Sally Jewell said: “This is an important and exciting milestone in our ongoing efforts to tap the vast wind energy resources along the Atlantic Coast.
“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 minimising 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.”
BOEM also plans to lease Wilmington East and Wilmington West WEA.
The proposed WEA leasing is in line with President Obama’s climate action plan to create jobs, develop domestic clean energy sources, and reduce carbon pollution in the country.
BOEM's director Abigail Ross Hopper said: “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.
“In addition, such supply will assist local governments in achieving their renewable energy goals.”
So far, the BOEM has awarded 11 commercial offshore wind leases, including nine through competitive lease sale process.