The U.S. Department of the Interior has just announced the next step in the years-long process toward the development of wind energy facilities off the coast of North Carolina. In a notice published in the Federal Register on August 16, 2016, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (“BOEM”) proposed the sale of commercial lease rights to develop wind energy facilities on the Outer Continental Shelf off the coast of northeastern North Carolina. The notice can be found at: https://federalregister.gov/a/2016-19552. The area proposed for lease encompasses approximately 122,400 acres, begins about 24 nautical miles off the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and contains 21.5 Outer Continental Shelf blocks. This area is known as the Kitty Hawk Wind Energy Area (“WEA”) and is situated in rough proximity to the Virginia WEA that was leased by BOEM pursuant to an auction process in 2013. A map of the proposed Kitty Hawk lease area can be found at: http://www.boem.gov/Map-Standard-Background/. Public comments to BOEM’s notice, as well as expressions of interest in the proposed lease for the Kitty Hawk WEA, may be submitted during the 60-day comment period that ends on October 17, 2016.
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