Obama approves offshore North Carolina wind farm

Obama approves offshore North Carolina wind farm

In one of his last moves as President of the United States, Barack Obama has set aside 122,405 acres of offshore North Carolina for potential wind energy development.

Offshore wind energy remains only an emerging industry in the US, but the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) believe this move could be the stimulus for America’s wind energy department.

“This is a significant milestone for North Carolina and our country as we continue to make progress on diversifying our nation’s energy portfolio,” said Walter Cruickshank, acting director of BOEM.

BOEM will lease the offshore area about 24 nautical miles off the coast of Kitty Hawk, NC, adding to six lease sales for wind energy development it already holds, which have brought in more than $58 million in bids so far.

Global energy major Shell (LSE:RDSB) has been shortlisted by the US government to make a bid for an offshore project licence in the waters, while Norway’s Statoil (NSYE:STO) is also qualified to participate in the upcoming leasing round.

Only one commercial offshore wind farm currently operates in the US, but the Block Island facility off the coast of Rhode Island exports over 11,000MW of power to Europe.