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March 28, 2022

US BOEM to hold auction for offshore wind development areas

The two lease areas cover 110,091 acres and can generate 1.3GW of clean energy in total.

The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) plans to hold an auction for two lease areas, with 1.3GW of total capacity, offshore from North and South Carolina.

Covering a 110,091-acre area in the Carolina Long Bay, the leased areas can generate enough clean energy to power around 500,000 homes.

BOEM recently completed its environmental review of these areas, which both have similar acreages, distances to shore and wind resource potential.

The auction is due to take place on 11 May.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said: “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.

“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.”

During the auction, offshore wind developers will have the option to bid for one or both regions as described in BOEM’s Final Sale Notice (FSN).

The FSN includes several lease conditions to promote the development of a domestic US supply chain, advance flexibility in transmission planning and encourage project labour agreements.

BOEM said that it will provide 20% credit to bidders who agree to invest in programmes to help advance the US offshore wind energy workforce training or supply chain development.

BOEM director Amanda Lefton said: “The milestones announced today mark significant progress in achieving this administration’s goal for deploying 30GW of offshore wind energy by 2030, while creating jobs and strengthening a sustainable domestic supply chain.”

The auction is part of US President Joe Biden’s agenda to increase the country’s clean energy economy by harnessing offshore wind projects to create jobs while reducing energy costs for consumers.

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