BOEM has defined three wind energy areas in federal waters between three and 200 miles offshore of North Carolina. Two of these areas are off the coast of Wilmington, while the third is to the north, near Kitty Hawk. The next step in the leasing process will be an environmental assessment of these proposed WEAs. The total area proposed for wind energy leasing off the state coast is about 307,590 acres.
Siting, Leasing, & Permitting
(Generation, Transmission, & Grid Interconnection)
By synthesizing information from regional stakeholders about the locations of natural resources and their existing uses within published wind energy Call Areas, researchers from the University of North Carolina Institute of Marine Sciences were able to create maps that integrate new stakeholder information with existing agency data, enabling BOEM to reduce potential user conflicts within leases for offshore wind development. Project objectives were to obtain and convey spatially explicit information indicating where wind energy development can avoid or minimize conflicts with fish, fish habitat, fishing, diving, and ecotourism in the three Call Areas published in December 2012: Wilmington-West, Wilmington-East, and Kitty Hawk on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) offshore of North Carolina.
In 2012, BOEM identified three Wind Energy Call Areas off of North Carolina, the Kitty Hawk Call Area is located near the North Carolina-Virginia border whereas both the Wilmington-West and Wilmington-East Call Areas are located near the North Carolina-South Carolina border, near Cape Fear and Frying Pan Shoals. In August 2014, BOEM announced three, fully vetted, WEAs offshore of North Carolina, in which each of the three Call Areas were reduced in size. This research project examined the seafloor and benthic communities in the Wilmington-East Call Area with some assessments focused on the smaller Wilmington-East WEA.
The purpose of this announcement, is Area Identification. BOEM has defined three Wind Energy Areas (WEAs) offshore North Carolina. The Kitty Hawk WEA begins about 24 nautical miles (nm) from shore and extends approximately 25.7 nm in a general southeast direction at its widest point. Its seaward extent ranges from 13.5 nm in the north to .6 nm in the south. It contains approximately 21.5 OCS blocks (122,405 acres). The Wilmington West WEA begins about 10 nm from shore and extends approximately 12.3 nm in an east-west direction at its widest point. It contains just over 9 OCS blocks (approximately 51,595 acres). The Wilmington East WEA begins about 15 nm from Bald Head Island at its closest point and extends approximately 18 nm in the southeast direction at its widest point. It contains approximately 25 OCS blocks (133,590 acres).
Consistent with the Interior Department´s "Smart from the Start" strategy for offshore wind, each of the Atlantic Wind Energy Areas are designed to make available areas that are attractive for commercial offshore wind develpment, while also protecting important viewsheds, sensitive habitats and resources and minimizing space use conflicts with activities such as military operations, shipping and fishing.
BOEM prepared this Enviromental Assessment (EA) to consider the reasonably foreseeable enviromental consequences of lease issuance and, in particular, whether issuing a lease will result in significant enviromental impacts. The activities associated with the EA include 1) site characterization surveys; and, 2) site assessment activities.
On January 23, 2015, BOEM published an Environmental Assessment (EA) for public review and comment. BOEM carefully considered all comments received, and on September 17, 2015, made available a revised environmental assessment (EA) for the Wind Energy Areas (WEAs) offshore North Carolina. As a result of the analysis in the revised EA, BOEM issued a "Finding of No Significant Impact" (FONSI), which concluded that reasonably foreseeable environmental effects associated with the commercial wind lease issuance and related activities would not significantly impact the environment.
BOEM announces its intent to prepare an Environmental Assessment for potential commercial wind leasing and site assessment activities on the Atlantic OCS offshore South Carolina.
The Call for Information and Nominations published by BOEM to gauge the offshore wind industry's interest in acquiring commercial wind leases off South Carolina.
This Guide summarizes some of the key context surrounding the efforts of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia to support the sustainable development of offshore wind energy. It provides an overview of the states’ key legal authority, the federal Coastal Zone Management Act, and state priorities in offshore wind energy project review, including the categories of information needed to satisfy the various review processes.