On March 25, 2022, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced the Final Sale Notice (FSN) for the Wilmington East Wind Energy Project, now named the Carolina Long Bay (CLB) wind project. The FSN is the third step of four which will culminate with the lease of two areas within the CLB designated area.
The BOEM Competitive Lease Award Process began with the first step on August 7, 2014, with the Call for Information and Nominations to Area Identification. The Village engaged with BOEM, area communities, and the state in an effort to express our concerns about viewshed, infrastructure, and impacts on ferry and barge through several letters.
On November 1, 2021, BOEM initiated the second step of the process with the Proposed Sale Notice (PSN). The PSN provided detailed information about potential areas that could be available along with possible lease provisions and conditions. On November 1, this area allowed for the closest wind turbine to be between 14 and 15 nautical miles offshore. Again, the Village along with other coastal entities raised continued concerns about the viewshed and other potential negative impacts the wind project could have on Bald Head Island.
With the March 22, 2021, FSN announcement (third step), we were pleased to see that over 13,000 acres were removed from the northern portion of the Lease Area resulting in the closest turbine to be located 17 nautical miles offshore (just under 20 statute miles). The Village views this as a good development. Furthermore, BOEM acknowledges that the post-lease issuance process will allow for further minimization of potential impacts.
The fourth step, Lease Issuance, is expected within the next few months. The issuance of any lease resulting from this sale would not constitute an approval of project-specific plans to develop offshore wind energy. Such plans submitted by the lessee would be subject to subsequent environmental, technical, and public review prior to a decision.
For additional material, click HERE. Information, including maps, regarding the viewshed and movement of the project area, further offshore can be found on pages 7 and 8.
The Village has created a project webpage for Islanders to keep up with the progress and find more information you can view the page HERE, or by going to the Village’s website home page and clicking on “Residents & Owners” and “Learn About…Wind Energy Project.