On March 16, 2017, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Acting Director Walter Cruickshank announced the completion of the nation’s seventh competitive lease sale for renewable wind energy in federal waters. A Wind Energy Area of 122,405 acres offshore Kitty Hawk, North Carolina received the high bid of $9,066,650 from Avangrid Renewables, LLC, the provisional winner.
BOEM has been working with the North Carolina Renewable Energy Task Force since 2010 to identify an area of sufficient size for offshore wind development, while avoiding ecologically sensitive areas and multiple use conflicts. The North Carolina lease area, designated OCS-A 0508, begins about 24 nautical miles from shore and extends 25.7 nautical miles in a general southeast direction. Its seaward extent ranges from 13.5 nautical miles in the north to .6 of a nautical mile in the south.
Using the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s estimates of 3 megawatts (MW) per square kilometer, the lease area has a potential generating capacity of 1,486 MW, enough energy to power more than 500,000 homes. The actual size of the wind energy project will be determined by the developer.