On October 28, 2021, in furtherance of the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of deploying 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind energy by 2030, the US Department of the Interior announced three major offshore wind development proposals.

First, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced a proposed lease sale for offshore wind development for approximately 128,000 acres in the Carolina Long Bay area offshore the Carolinas. The proposed lease sale area will include a majority of the Wilmington East Wind Energy area and has the potential for more than 1.5 GW of offshore wind energy. The Proposed Sale Notice, which will be published in the Federal Register on November 1, contains information pertaining to the proposed lease sale area, certain provisions and conditions of the lease, auction details, lease forms, criteria for evaluating competing bids, award procedures, appeal procedures and lease execution procedures. BOEM is requesting public comments for 60 days on, among other things, potentially dividing the proposed lease area into as many as three lease areas and using a “multi-factor auction format,” which would include a monetary bid and bidding credits to determine the outcome of the auction. BOEM plans to host an auction seminar to discuss the auction format for prospective bidders.

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