Carolinas offshore wind lease sale draws $315 million in winning bids

Written by Nick Blenkey
BOEM Diector Amanda Lefton

BOEM Director Amanda Lefton: “This auction puts real dollars on the table to support economic growth from offshore wind energy development – including the jobs that come with it.”

Yesterday’s Department of the Interior wind energy auction for two lease areas offshore the Carolinas attracted competitive winning bids from two companies – TotalEnergies Renewables USA and Duke Energy Renewables Wind – totaling approximately $315 million.

The sale offered two lease areas covering 110,091 acres in the Carolina Long Bay area offshore North Carolina and South Carolina. If fully developed, the leases could result in about 1.3 gigawatts of offshore wind energy, enough to power about 500,000 homes. 

  • TotalEnergies Renewables USA, LLC bid $160 million for the 54,937 acre lease area OCS-A 0545
  • Duke Energy Renewables Wind, LLC bid $155 million for the 55,154 acre lease area OCS-A 0546 .

The Carolina Long Bay offshore wind auction included a new 20 percent credit for bidders that committed to a monetary contribution to programs or initiatives that support workforce training programs for the offshore wind industry, development of a U.S. domestic supply chain for the offshore wind energy industry, or both. This credit will result in $42 million for these critical programs or initiatives.

“This auction puts real dollars on the table to support economic growth from offshore wind energy development – including the jobs that come with it,” said BOEM Director Amanda Lefton. “The new bidding credit in the Carolina Long Bay auction will result in tangible investments for workforce training and businesses in the United States, to ultimately create jobs in the U.S. across the industries needed to support achieving our offshore wind goals.”

NOIA COMMENTS

“With three separate wind projects now in the area, and potentially more on the way, the Carolinas are positioned to be the next American offshore wind hub,” said National Ocean Industries Association President Erik Milito after the Carolinas offshore wind lease sale. Today’s winning bids were each more than seventeen times larger than the winning bid from the Kitty Hawk offshore wind lease sale just five years ago. We’re seeing the maturation of the market and an optimistic outlook for offshore wind in areas beyond our Northeastern states. A stronger supply chain, with new jobs and investments, will stretch through the Carolinas and communities throughout our nation.

“The high-level of interest in the lease areas underscores demand for additional future wind lease opportunities. However, a 10-year moratorium on new offshore wind leasing in the region, scheduled to take effect on July 1, would undercut substantial offshore wind momentum. This morning, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Congresswoman Deborah Ross (D-N.C.) released a bicameral letter calling for language repealing the moratorium to be included in the final text of bipartisan innovation legislation. Congress should pass this bipartisan measure, which is currently included in the America COMPETES Act, and help ensure the door remains open for offshore wind.”

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