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Wind Energy Project Could Be Coming to the Outer Banks
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Wind turbines on ocean coast with sun setting.

Construction of a wind energy farm roughly 27 miles off the coast of the Outer Banks is expected to start in 2024.

That’s the time frame included in a plan filed at the end of 2020 with the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) by Avangrid Renewables.

The Kitty Hawk Offshore Wind project would cover 122,405 acres. The agency awarded Avangrid Renewables a lease for the area in 2017. It’s located about 27 miles east of Corolla.

The first phase is projected to generate about 800 megawatts (MW) of electricity. When all phases are complete, in 2030, Avangrid Renewables projects Kitty Hawk Offshore Wind should generate 2500 MW, enough to power roughly 700,000 homes.

The company’s filing also says the economic impact of the project will be $2 billion between 2021 and 2030. It will create 800 construction jobs in southeast Virginia and northeastern North Carolina.

Project Should Generate Jobs and Electricity

The company says that once Kitty Hawk Offshore is operation, the wind farm will produce 193 full-time jobs in the two states including turbine generator technicians, welders and vessel managers, according to the report. Support companies and services could add nearly 800 more jobs.

Construction of the Kitty Hawk Offshore Wind Project is planned for an area the BOEM has labeled the Kitty Hawk Wind Energy Area. The area covers 200 square miles and was selected to minimize impacts to other users of the ocean, including the military, commercial and recreational fisheries, the shipping industry as well as coastal communities. It also was selected to minimize impacts to the marine environment.

The BOEM conducted an Environmental Assessment of the WEA and issued a "Finding of No Significant Impact," concluding that the environmental effects associated with offshore wind development and operation would not significantly impact the environment.

The Kitty Hawk project will be the second in the region. A Dominion Energy wind farm off the Virginia Beach coast, is expected to be finished in 2026.

Funding for Sci NC provided by GSK (GSK logo).