The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced this morning that it will offer 110,091 acres of the Outer Continental Shelf (ICS) in the Carolina Bay Area for lease this coming May.  The Carolina Bay Area lease sale follows the recent lease sale in the New York Bight and demonstrates the Bind Administration’s commitment to establishing 30 gigawatts of offshore wind production by 2030.  BOEM’s Federal Register notice may be found here.

The lease auction is set for May 11, 2022.  The proposed lease areas consist of two, roughly 55,000-acre areas.  The auctions areas, located to the southeast of the Carolina coasts, comprise a smaller proposed lease area than previously announced by BOEM in November 2021.  The announcement of these lease areas represents the culmination of BOEM’s initial environmental review process aimed at identifying potential lease areas and assessing the likely impact of anticipated site assessment activities.

BOEM’s environmental review process is just beginning, however.  A successful bidder is not guaranteed to be able to proceed with development.  Rather, the bidder must submit a Construction and Operations Plan, which will undergo significant scrutiny as BOEM determines the scope of the development’s impact and any necessary mitigation or operational restrictions.

Contact Andrew Glenn, Megan Caldwell, Jon Micah Goeller, or another member of Husch Blackwell’s Wind Energy Team with any questions you have as we continue to monitor changes that impact the offshore – and onshore – wind industries.

We have been keeping readers in the loop on recent offshore wind updates. Please view our past articles here:

Property Owners Lodge a NEPA Challenge to the South Fork Offshore Wind Farm Project

BOEM Takes Another Step Toward Leasing the Outer Continental Shelf for Offshore Wind

From Sea to Shining Sea, U.S. Continues Renewable Energy Push with Biden Administration’s Latest Commitment to Offshore Wind

Offshore Wind Positioned to Take Off Under Biden