Bidding underway for Carolina Long Bay lease areas

4C Offshore | Tom Russell
By: 11/05/2022 BOEM

Bidding is underway in a wind energy auction covering two lease areas offshore the Carolinas, United States. The lease areas cover 110,091 acres in the Carolina Long Bay area that, if developed, could result in at least 1.3 GW of offshore wind energy, expected to power nearly 500,000 homes.

The Carolina Long Bay offshore wind energy auction will allow offshore wind developers to bid on one or both of the lease areas within the Wilmington East Wind Energy Area (WEA). The two lease areas,
OCS-A 0545  and OCS-A 0546,  include similar acreage, distance to shore, and wind resource potential.

BOEM has determined that 16 entities are legally, technically, and financially qualified to hold a commercial wind lease in the Wilmington East Lease Area. They include: 547 Energy LLC, Arevia Power LLC, Avangrid Renewables LLC, BP US Offshore Wind Energy LLC, Invenergy Long Bay Offshore LLC, Carolina Offshore Wind LLC, Duke Energy Renewables Wind, LLC, EDF Renewables Development, Inc., JERA Renewables NA, LLC, Masdar Offshore Wind Americas LLC, MRP Offshore Wind Farm LLC, Orsted North America Inc., OW North America Ventures LLC, RWE Offshore Wind Holdings, LLC, Shell New Energies US LLC, TotalEnergies Renewables USA, LLC.

According to BOEM's
Final Sale Notice, several lease stipulations have been included which are designed to promote the development of a robust domestic U.S. supply chain, advance flexibility in transmission planning, and encourage project labor agreements. Among the stipulations, BOEM will offer a 20 percent credit to bidders if they commit to invest in programs that will advance U.S. offshore wind energy workforce training or supply chain development.

Last year the US government announced a new leasing path forward which identified up to seven potential lease sales by 2025, including the ongoing Carolina Long Bay lease sale and the New York Bight lease sale which concluded earlier this year. Lease sales offshore California and Oregon, as well as in the Central Atlantic, Gulf of Maine, and the Gulf of Mexico are expected to follow.

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