WASHINGTON, D.C. — An offshore wind lease auction for two areas within the Carolina Long Bay indicates strong industry confidence in the potential for offshore wind energy development along the southern Atlantic Coast of the United States. If developed, the lease areas — comprising 110,091 acres in the area offshore North Carolina and South Carolina — could result in at least 1.3 gigawatts of offshore wind energy, enough to power over 500,000 homes.
The two winning bidders, TotalEnergies USA, LLC and Duke Energy Renewables Wind, LLC, participated in an auction that lasted 18 rounds. The projects they eventually propose will play a critical role in helping the United States achieve its 30 gigawatts by 2030 offshore wind goal.
“The Carolina Long Bay lease auction positions North Carolina to play a significant role in meeting the United States’ ambitious offshore wind energy goals and marks an important milestone for the endeavor as a whole,” said Amber Hewett, offshore wind energy program director at the National Wildlife Federation. “Bringing responsibly developed offshore wind energy to the southeast region will be critical to advancing this clean energy resource and helping us achieve our emissions reduction targets.
“Across the state and the political spectrum, North Carolina voters recognize that offshore wind will have a positive impact on jobs, the state’s economy, and climate change. As this industry continues to grow, we urge state and federal agencies to center environmental justice in their decision-making, heed stakeholder input, and take action based on the best available science to ensure effective protections for wildlife through every stage of development.”
“North Carolina Wildlife Federation will work with National Wildlife Federation to advocate that future wind energy facilities, development, and operations incorporate the best available fish and wildlife science and methodologies, said Tim Gestwicki, CEO of the North Carolina Wildlife Federation. "As this new industry develops, NCWF will make every effort to ensure that the industry is demonstrably wildlife friendly now and into the future.”
The two separate Carolina Long Bay lease areas allow for auxiliary benefits for North Carolina through additional competition. Projects developed in these lease areas can contribute to the estimated $4.6 billion in economic benefit that offshore wind energy can bring to North Carolina and help the state to reach its goal of achieving 70 percent carbon reduction by 2030 and net-zero by 2050.
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