TotalEnergies Renewables USA and Duke Energy Renewables Wind have been announced as provincial winners by the US Department of the Interior (DOI) in a wind energy auction for the Carolina Long Bay area.

The DOI’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) offered two lease areas under the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf renewable energy auction. The lease areas are spread over a total of 110,091 acres in the Carolina Long Bay area off the coasts of North Carolina and South Carolina.

If fully developed, the leases could lead to nearly 1.3GW of new offshore wind energy capacity. This would be enough capacity to power nearly 500,000 homes.

The winning bids from the subsidiaries of TotalEnergies and Duke Energy amount to $315m.

Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland said: “The Biden-Harris administration is moving forward at the pace and scale required to help achieve the President’s goals to make offshore wind energy a reality for the United States.

“Together with an all-of-government approach, we can combat the effects of climate change while creating good-paying union jobs that can benefit underserved communities. Today’s lease sale is further proof that there is strong industry interest and that America’s clean energy transition is here.”

TotalEnergies won the OCS-A 0545 lease area with a bid of $160m. The lease area is spread over 54,937 acres.

Duke Energy bagged the OCS-A 0546 lease area with a bid of $155m. The lease area spans 55,154 acres.

According to Duke Energy, OCS-A 0546, which is located east of Wilmington, can support up to 1.6GW of potential offshore wind power. This is enough to meet the power consumption needs of around 375,000 homes, said the company.

Duke Energy North Carolina president Stephen De May said: “Securing this lease creates optionality for future offshore wind if the North Carolina Utilities Commission determines it’s part of the least cost path to achieve 70% carbon reduction by 2030 and net-zero by 2050.

“As we continue to assess the area and project potential, we look forward to listening and learning from diverse stakeholders and community members in the region to ensure we are being thoughtful about all aspects of the potential project.”

Prior to the finalising of the two leases, the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission will carry out an anti-competitiveness review of the auction.

TotalEnergies and Duke Energy will have to pay any balance on their winning bids and give financial assurance to BOEM, said the DOI.