Rights to develop offshore wind energy in an expanse of ocean real estate 24 nautical miles away from the North Carolina coast sold for $9 million today in an auction held by the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). The winning bid was placed by Avangrid Renewables, which recently completed North Carolina’s first land-based wind project.
KITTY HAWK, N.C., March 16, 2017 — Rights to develop offshore wind energy in an expanse of ocean real estate 24 nautical miles away from the North Carolina coast sold for $9 million today in an auction held by the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). The winning bid was placed by Avangrid Renewables, which recently completed North Carolina's first land-based wind project.
"The same winds that once lifted the first powered flight above North Carolina's Outer Banks could soon power thousands if not millions of American homes," said Nancy Sopko, Director, Offshore Wind and Federal Legislative Affairs, for the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). "Millions of dollars in private investment drawn to this new ocean energy resource will help North Carolina's economy take flight, creating new demand for skilled jobs, factories and U.S. flagged vessels."
The lease auction is the final procedural step required before an offshore wind project can be developed at the site, but the project must find a buyer for its electricity before construction can begin. The five-year process leading up to the auction engaged over a dozen groups in 13 public meetings to ensure community input.
America's first offshore wind farm came online off Rhode Island in late 2016. The offshore wind industry has the potential to create highly skilled jobs and revitalize infrastructure in America's port cities on the East, West and Great Lakes coasts.
Land-based wind power is the largest source of renewable energy capacity in the U.S., and employs over 100,000 American workers including 25,000 manufacturing workers at over 500 factories in 43 states.
AWEA is the national trade association of the U.S. wind energy industry. We represent 1,000 member companies and over 100,000 jobs in the U.S. economy, serving as a powerful voice for how wind works for America. Members include global leaders in wind power and energy development, turbine manufacturing, and component and service suppliers. They gather each year at the Western Hemisphere's largest wind power trade show, the AWEA WINDPOWER Conference & Exhibition, next in Anaheim, California, May 22-26, 2017. Find information about wind energy on the AWEA website. Gain insight into industry issues on AWEA's blog, Into the Wind. And please join us on Facebook, and follow @AWEA on Twitter.