The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has issued an environmental assessment in support of potential lease sale of over 300,000 acres of federal waters off the coast of North Carolina for the development of wind energy.

About 307,590 acres have been identified by BOEM for the development of wind energy offshore North Carolina.

The areas include the Kitty Hawk Wind Energy Area (about 122,405 acres), the Wilmington West Wind Energy Area (about 51,595 acres), and the Wilmington East Wind Energy Area (about 133,590 acres).

The lease sale is part of US President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, which aims to create clean energy resources and cut down carbon emissions.

US Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said: "No challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change, and today’s announcement marks yet another milestone in the President’s strategy to develop renewable energy, create American jobs and strengthen the nation’s energy security future.

"In close coordination with our partners in North Carolina, we are moving forward to determine what places make sense to harness the enormous wind energy potential off the Atlantic seaboard."

BOEM plans for two competitive lease sale auctions – one of the Massachusetts lease sale on January 29, and the other of New Jersey lease sale later this year.