Feds shop ocean off the Outer Banks to build wind turbines

KITTY HAWK, N.C. (AP) — The Obama Administration is inviting companies to bid for the right to build wind energy turbines off North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

The Interior Department on Friday announced a proposed lease sale for 122,000 acres beginning about 28 miles off Kitty Hawk that includes part of the Outer Continental Shelf. The government has previously announced lease availability for two offshore areas near Wilmington and four areas offshore of South Carolina.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will host public events in Raleigh and Kitty Hawk next month to describe the auction process. Once leases are awarded, there would be environmental studies of the specific areas and reviews of specific turbine construction plans.

The first operational wind farm in U.S. offshore waters may begin generating power off Rhode Island later this year.

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