The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has issued a call for information and nominations to gauge the offshore wind industry's interest in acquiring commercial wind leases in three areas off the coast of North Carolina.
In consultation with the North Carolina Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force, BOEM has identified three areas on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) offshore North Carolina where commercial wind energy leasing could take place. The three call areas are composed of 195 whole OCS blocks and 60 partial blocks, totaling 1,441 square nautical miles. One area is located six miles offshore Kitty Hawk, and two areas are located seven and 13 miles offshore southern Wilmington.
According to BOEM, each of the three call areas have been designed to make available areas that are attractive for commercial offshore wind development while also protecting sensitive habitats and resources and minimizing space use conflicts with activities such as military operations, shipping and fishing.Â
Site-specific mitigation measures, stipulations or exclusion areas may be developed as a result of future environmental reviews and associated consultations, notes the agency.
In addition to the call, BOEM is publishing in the Federal Register a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an environmental assessment (EA). Through the NOI, BOEM is seeking public comment for determining significant issues and alternatives to be analyzed in the EA. The EA will consider potential environmental and socioeconomic impacts associated with issuing commercial wind leases and approving site assessment activities on the lease areas.
The call and the NOI will be published in the Federal Register on Dec. 13, and BOEM will accept public comments for 45 days.
For information on responding to the call, click here: