The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced this week that the rights to develop offshore wind energy off the coast of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina have been successfully obtained by US renewable energy developer Avangrid Renewables for $9 million.
Announced on Thursday, the Wind Energy Area located 24 nautical miles off the coast of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, sold at auction for $9 million in an auction held by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). The Wind Energy Area spans an area of 122,405 acres, and was the beneficiary of a 17-round auction which was won by US renewable energy developer and provider, Avangrid Renewables, a subsidiary of Avangrid and part of the Iberdrola Group.
This auction continues the growing interest in developing offshore wind energy in American waters, a wildly underused resource — a resource which only recently began generating electricity for the first time, with the Block Island Wind Farm generating its first electricity only late last year.
The next step for the successfully leased area is to acquire a buyer for the electricity that will be generated at the site.
Avangrid Renewables beat out Wind Future LLC, Statoil Wind US LLC, and wpd offshore Alpha LLC. This was the seventh competitive auction held by the BOEM, auctions which have now raised just under $70 million for more than one million acres.
“The success of this lease sale reflects the continued interest of coastal communities to develop their offshore energy resources,” said US Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. “Renewable energy, like offshore wind, is one tool in the all of the above energy toolbox that will help power America with domestic energy, securing energy independence, and bolstering the economy. This is a big win for collaborative efforts with state, local, and private sector partners.”
“We are very excited about this opportunity for Avangrid Renewables to play a leading role in the growing US offshore wind industry, a reliable source of clean energy that has significant job-creation potential in North Carolina and the United States,” said James P. Torgerson, CEO of AVANGRID.
“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.”
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