Guice Offshore, widely considered to be the U.S. Flag Leader in the operation of dynamically positioned mini-supply vessels and compact, cost-effective multi-purpose vessels for the “specialty” marketplace, noted the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has completed its environmental review and will hold a wind energy auction for two lease areas in the Carolinas offshore on May 11, 2022. The announcement follows the recent record-breaking offshore wind auction in New York, which was the highest-grossing offshore energy auction in U.S. history.
The Carolinas lease areas cover 110,091 acres in the Carolina Long Bay area that, if developed, could result in at least 1.3 gigawatts of offshore wind energy, enough to power nearly 500,000 homes. The auction is part of the federal government’s clean energy economy strategy to harness offshore wind projects and strengthen U.S. energy independence, create good-paying jobs and lower energy bills for consumers.
The offshore wind energy industry has been catalyzed by the first-ever national offshore wind energy goal, which lays out a clear vision for the future of this innovative industry. This goal is reinforced by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which will make historic investments to build a better America with clean energy, resilient infrastructure, and strong domestic manufacturing and supply chains.
The Carolina Long Bay offshore wind energy auction will allow offshore wind developers to bid on one or both of the lease areas within the Wilmington East Wind Energy Area (WEA), as described in BOEM’s Final Sale Notice (FSN). The two lease areas include similar acreage, distance-to-shore, and wind resource potential.
The FSN includes several lease stipulations designed to promote the development of a robust domestic U.S. supply chain, advance flexibility in transmission planning, and encourage project labor agreements. Among the stipulations announced, the BOEM will offer a 20 percent credit to bidders if they commit to invest in programs that will advance U.S. offshore wind energy workforce training or supply chain development.
To advance BOEM’s communication and environmental justice goals, the leases will also require lessees to identify Tribal Nations, underserved communities, agencies, ocean users and other interested stakeholders, and report on their communication and engagement activities with these parties. These stipulations are intended to promote offshore wind energy development in a way that coexists with other ocean uses and protects the ocean environment, while also facilitating our nation’s energy future for generations to come. These innovative stipulations were embraced in the Interior Department’s recent lease sale for the New York Bight, which set a record as the nation’s highest-grossing competitive offshore energy lease sale in history, including oil and gas lease sales.
“BOEM is focused on ensuring that any development offshore North Carolina is done responsibly, in a way that avoids or minimizes potential impacts to the ocean and ocean users in the region,” said BOEM Director Amanda Lefton. “The milestones announced today mark significant progress in achieving this Administration’s goal for deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030, while creating jobs and strengthening a sustainable domestic supply chain.”
In November 2021, the BOEM published a Proposed Sale Notice (PSN) and requested public comments on the proposed leasing of nearly 128,000 acres in the Wilmington East WEA. Based on the bureau’s review of scientific data and extensive input from the commercial fishing industry, Tribes, partnering agencies, key stakeholders, and the public, BOEM reduced the acreage available for leasing in the FSN by 14 percent from the areas proposed in the PSN to avoid conflicts with ocean users and minimize environmental impacts. BOEM will continue to engage with its partners and stakeholders as the process unfolds.
In addition, this past fall the Administration announced a new leasing path forward, which identified up to seven potential lease sales by 2025, including the upcoming Carolina Long Bay lease sale and last month’s New York Bight lease sale. Lease sales offshore California and Oregon, as well as in the Central Atlantic, Gulf of Maine, and the Gulf of Mexico are expected to follow.
A recent report indicates that the United States’ growing offshore wind energy industry presents a $109 billion revenue opportunity to businesses in the supply chain over the next decade.
More information about the FSN, lease stipulations, the list of qualified bidders for the auction, and auction procedures can be found on BOEM’s Carolina Long Bay website.
Pertinent Carolina offshore wind auction resources are provided below via hyperlink:
- Commercial Wind Lease Issuance and Site Assessment Activities on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf Offshore North Carolina – Final Supplemental Environmental Assessment (March 25, 2022)
- Carolina Long Bay Final Sale Notice
- Commercial Leases
- Carolina Long Bay Final Sale Notice Decision Memorandum
- Carolina Long Bay Final Sale Notice Response to Comments
- Bidder’s Financial Form
- EFT Payment Instructions
Guice Offshore Has the Jones Act-Compliant Supply, Support and Platform Vessels To Help Meet America’s Offshore Wind Goals
In response to the March 28, 2022 National Renewable Energy Laboratory report outlining in part the need for six types of offshore vessels in order to fulfill offshore wind power supply chain needs to reach the United States’ national offshore wind goal of 30 gigawatts (GW) by 2030, Guice Offshore (“GO”) Vice President David Scheyd said:
“Our growing fleet of Jones Act-compliant, dynamically positioned offshore supply vessels, mini supply vessels and platform vessels is well positioned to help meet our nation’s wind energy infrastructure installation and service goal deadlines, whether it’s crew transfer, service, cable laying, subsea work like scour protection or equipment transportation.”
To get a link to the report, entitled “The Demand for a Domestic Offshore Wind Energy Supply Chain,” and its concurrent U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), U.S. Department of Energy report, “America’s Strategy to Secure the Supply Chain for a Robust Clean Energy Transition,” click here: https://lnkd.in/gXMGRmqj