Kitty Hawk Wind is an Avangrid proposed offshore wind project composed of 69 turbines with an installed capacity of 1000 MW. The Wind Energy Area (WEA) was selected to minimize impacts to other users of the ocean (such as the military, commercial and recreational fishing, and shipping industries) as well as to minimize impacts to the marine environment and coastal communities. It is projected to be able to support 3,500 MW of electricity generation which would be enough to power approximately 1 million homes. The anticipated power generation start is October 2029.
The Kitty Hawk Wind Lease Area covers approximately 200 square miles located more than 43 km from the Outer Banks. The planned interconnection point is Sandbridge Beach in the City of Virginia Beach, Virginia.
- 2021, August: Concurrence with Federal Consistency Certification Submitted with North Carolina Division of Coastal Management
- 2029, October: Anticipated Power Generation Start
- 2028, January: Anticipated Offshore Construction Start
- 2027, January: Anticipated Onshore Construction Start
- 2025, June: Construction and Operations Plan (COP) Finalization Anticipated
- 2025, January: Final Environmental Impact Statement Anticipated Publish Date
- 2021, December: High-Resolution Geophysical and Geotechnical Surveys
- 2021, September: Geotechnical Surveys
- 2021, July: BOEM released the Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Kitty Hawk Offshore Wind Project Offshore North Carolina
- 2021, July: Consultation initiated with SHPO/THPO regarding Section 106 Review
- 2020, December: Construction and Operations Plan (COP) Submission
- 2020, April: BOEM Approved Site Assessment Plan
- 2020, March: Geophysical Surveys
- 2020, January: Fisheries Communication Plan Released
- 2019, December: Site Assessment Plan Submission
- 2019, April: Aerial Surveys
- 2019, January – March: Site Investigations
- 2017: BOEM Awarded Kitty Hawk Wind, LLC the 122,405-acre Lease
- 2015, January: BOEM Released Environmental Assessment
- 2014, May: Mapping Site Investigation
- 2000, August: Geotechnical Surveys
Key Environmental Issues
On July 30, 2021, BOEM announced its intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the review of a construction and operations plan (COP) submitted by Kitty Hawk, LLC (Kitty Hawk) for its Kitty Hawk Offshore Wind Project. Kitty Hawk's permitting dashboard tracking progress of the EIS can be found here.
The Environmental Impact Statement will assess the potential biological, socioeconomic, physical, and cultural impacts that could result from the construction, operations and maintenance, and decommissioning of the Kitty Hawk North Wind. Recommendations (alternative options) will be detailed on how to best monitor and reduce the project impact on the surrounding area.
Environmental Papers and Reports
Kitty Hawk North Wind Construction and Operations Plan for Commercial Lease OCS-A 0508 (Tetra Tech, Inc., 2022)
North Carolina Collaborative Archaeological Survey: Kitty Hawk Wind Energy Area (Carrier, et al., 2017)
Habitat Mapping and Assessment of Northeast Wind Energy Areas (Guida, et al., 2017)
Offshore Wind Energy Development in North Carolina (Stearns, et al., 2015)
Baseline Assessment: Kitty Hawk North Wind
|Receptor||Design and Methods||Results||Publications||Data|
|Bats||Bat and Avian Assessment Biodiversity Research Institute conducted an exposure and risk assessment of the potential offshore effects to bat and avian species from the construction and operations of the Kitty Hawk North Wind project. High-resolution aerial surveys, boat-based acoustic bat surveys, and literature and data analysis were utilized for the assessment.||Kitty Hawk North Wind Construction and Operations Plan for Commercial Lease OCS-A 0508 Complete||No data publicly available.|
|Bats||Bat Acoustic Survey Acoustic bat monitoring was conducted in the Kitty Hawk Wind project area from 13 May through 07 Nov 2020, using a single bat detector station mounted near the top of a roving offshore research vessel. Analysis of bat acoustic data was conducted using a two-phased approach: 1) filter data with a USFWS approved software program to remove non-bat sounds and assign an initial species or group classification, and 2) manually review and cross-validate a subset of this data using an additional, independent echolocation software program to confirm species presence.||Complete During the 2020 acoustic survey, 77 nights were sampled from 13 May to 07 Nov 2020. The detector station was fully operational during the entire survey period. A total of 2 bat passes were recorded within the project area and identified to the species level or frequency group. One bat pass occurred on 24 Sep 2020 and was identified as an eastern red bat. The second pass occurred on 25 Oct 2020 by an unidentified high frequency bat. Based on publicly available information, the likelihood of occurrence of the federally threatened northern long-eared bat in the project area is low. No Myotis species were acoustically confirmed during the survey.||Tetra Tech Inc. 2022||No data publicly available.|
|Bats||Bat Assessment The impact assessment was conducted using a weight-of-evidence approach by evaluating the likelihood that bats will occur in the Kitty Hawk Wind Development Area (WDA), and the known vulnerability of bats to collisions with wind turbine generators. A bat acoustic detector was deployed on a survey vessel from 8 May through 16 Nov 2020 as the vessel completed surveys across the WEA. High resolution digital aerial surveys were conducted in the South Atlantic Bight in 2018 and 2019.||Complete
Offshore, the primary hazards bats may be exposed to are construction and maintenance vessels and wind turbine generators (WTGs). Bats may be attracted to the offshore construction areas. The primary potential impact of the operational offshore components of the project to bats is mortality or injury resulting from collision with WTGs. |
Bats are not expected to regularly forage in the WDA but may be present during migration.
Overall, the proposed project is unlikely to impact bat populations.
|Biodiversity Research Institute 2022||No data publicly available.|
The potential effects associated with the proposed Kitty Hawk Wind project were evaluated qualitatively using a risk assessment framework. The framework uses a weight-of-evidence approach and combines an assessment of exposure and behavioral vulnerability within the context of the literature to establish potential risk. |
Exposure was assessed using species accounts, baseline survey data, and tracking studies.
|Complete Overall, project activities occurring in the Wind Development Area are unlikely to impact populations of coastal or marine birds because of their minimal to low exposure. Coastal birds may occasionally forage in the project area, or pass through on their spring and/or fall migrations, the area is generally far enough offshore as to be beyond the range of most breeding terrestrial or coastal bird species. All marine birds are expected to have minimal to low exposure.||Biodiversity Research Institute 2022||No data publicly available.|
|Birds, Fish, Reptiles, Marine Mammals||Digital Aerial Surveys Relevant available data was used to assess potential species within the lease area. 12 monthly aerial digital surveys of Kitty Hawk lease area were conducted between January and December 2019. Each individual located by the surveys is geo-referenced and this allows those locations to be related to the boundary of Kitty Hawk and any buffer placed around it out to 4 km.||Complete In the spring months, loons, turtles and marine mammals were the most abundant species groups recorded. During the summer, rays, large bony fish, and turtles were the most abundant, and large bony fish, turtles and gulls were the most abundant in fall. For winter, auks, loons, and gulls were the most abundant.||APEM Ltd and Normandeau Associates Inc 2022||No data publicly available.|
|Fish, Invertebrates, Physical Environment||Benthic, Finfish, Invertebrate, and Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) Assessment
An analysis of relevant available data was conducted A benthic reconnaissance survey of the Kitty Hawk North Wind project area was conducted in Q1 2021. Geophysical surveys of the project area were also conducted in Q3 2019 and Q4 2020. Drop-down video surveys and benthic grab samples were collected in 2020. |
Managed fish with designated essential fish habitat (EFH) in the review area were identified using the online EFH Mapper (NOAA 41 Fisheries 2020b).
Benthic surveys supported the characterization of surficial sediments consisting of sand, gravel, silt, and clay (shelf sediments) with sand ripples as the predominant seafloor feature in the project area. |
Surveys showed the presence of soft-bodied invertebrates (e.g. hydrozoans and bryozoans).
Northeast Fishery Science Center seasonal trawl surveys in the Kitty Hawk Wind Energy Area (2003 to 2016) identified a total of 78 distinct taxa.
|Tetra Tech Inc. 2022||No data publicly available.|
|Marine Mammals||Marine Mammal Assessment Data analysis was conducted to predict potential Kitty Hawk North Wind project-related impacts on marine mammals using aerial surveys of the project area (including one year of monthly surveys for the lease area, from January to December of 2019), stock assessment reports, density maps, and relevant available reports. Protected Species Observer (PSO) sighting data (and some Passive Acoustic Monitoring data) specific to the review area were also collected opportunistically during project-related vessel-based survey activities.||Complete
There are 35 marine mammal species found with documented ranges that overlap the review area. |
Based on available survey data, there is a moderate to high likelihood of North Atlantic right whale, fin whale, and humpback whale, minke whale, Atlantic spotted dolphin, bottlenose dolphin, pilot whale, Risso’s dolphin, harbor porpoise, harbor seal, and gray seal occurrence in the review area, particularly along the offshore export cable corridor.
|Tetra Tech Inc. 2022||No data publicly available.|
|Physical Environment||Sediment Transport Analysis To evaluate how offshore export cable installation will affect suspended sediment concentrations, transport and deposition, a sediment transport analysis of the Kitty Hawk Wind project was conducted. An analytical sediment transport model was developed to predict the fate and transport of sediment suspended by cable burial activities along the offshore export cables and within the Wind Development Area and along the offshore export cables and inter-array cables. Site-specific sediment data and flow direction and current velocity from a publicly available hydrodynamic model were used to inform the analytical model.||Complete The analytical sediment transport model yielded the following general conclusions: 1) The suspended sediment concentration, deposition depth, and area of influence is dependent upon flood and ebb current velocities, burial depth, and the percentage of fine sediments in the sediment sample; 2) The very fine sediments particles (silt and clay) remain in suspension for about 4 hours after being mobilized in the water column. Coarser particles (fine sand) settle at a faster rate, about 1 minute after being mobilized||Tetra Tech Inc. 2022||No data publicly available.|
|Reptiles||Sea Turtle Assessment Several sources of data, reports, and studies informed the sea turtle assessment. Regionally specific data (PSO sighting data) was gathered and project- related vessel-based survey activities were conducted in 2018-2019. Aerial survey data further illustrated existing sea turtle presence in the review area.||Complete During construction, the potential short-term impacts to sea turtle included: disturbance of habitat due to installation of the foundations, offshore export cables, and site preparation for installation of scour protection; loss of local prey species and availability; increase in construction-related lighting; increase in marine debris; increased risk for entanglement and entrapment in equipment increase in underwater noise; increased risk for ship strike; and change in water quality. During operations, the potential impacts included: modification of habitat due to presence of new structures; EMF and thermal effects; lighting; marine debris; underwater noise associated with O&M vessel traffic; increased risk for ship strikes; and changes in water quality.||Tetra Tech Inc. 2022||No data publicly available.|