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.
Environmental/Marine Use Compatibility
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.
Georgia is in need of a more stremlined and accessible process for developing an offshore wind project. which includes access to a diverse set of data. That is why Georgia Tech and Georgia Deprtment of Natural Resources (DNR) teamed up to create a data application that would help put all these puzzle pieces together. They recognized major data gaps and a need for a tool to compile all of these pieces of data in one system, so Georgia Tech´s Center for Geographic Information Systems and Strategic Energy Institute partnered with the Georgia DNR Coastal Resources Division to launch a new marine planning application called the Georgia Coastal and Marine Planner (GCAMP). this tool provides online access to data regarding coastal and ocean resources, which can help facilitate Georgia´s management of these resources in regards to offshore wind energy.
See the GCAMP here.
The objective of this study is to provide easily understandable information about the distribution of birds to aid offshore wind development siting decisions and reduce the risk of impacts to birds.
The goal of this effort is to conduct a baseline ecological assessment of two wind planning areas along the U.S. Atlantic cost to identify the potential enviromental impact of offshore wind energy construction. Our goal was to establish a baseline of seasonal activity of focal species using passive acoustic monitoring to understand their acoustic presence and calling patterns, and establish the baseline noise conditions of the areas. These baseline data would be used to evaluate potential changes that may result from future wind energy construction and operation.
Georgia´s offshore wind resources would be able to provide high value, and high demand energy when it is needed the most: hot summers afternoons. Based on research, Georgia´s Sea Breeze effect is positively correlated with Georgia Power´s hourly electrical demandduring summertime. Therfore, offshore wind energy resources have good coincidence with electrical demand load.
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.