The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will offer 122,405 acres offshore Kitty Hawk, N.C. for wind energy development in a lease sale on March 16.

The Kitty Hawk lease area begins about 24 nautical miles from shore and extends 25.7 nautical miles in a general southeast direction. Its seaward extent ranges from 13.5 nautical miles in the north to .6 of a nautical mile in the south.

Nine companies have qualified to bid at the North Carolina offering, BOEM’s seventh competitive wind lease sale: Avangrid Renewables LLC; Enbridge Holdings (Green Energy) LLC; Shell WindEnergy Inc.; Northland Power America Inc.; Wind Future LLC; Outer Banks Ocean Energy LLC; PNE Wind USA Inc.; Statoil Wind US LLC; and wpd offshore Alpha LLC.

Six prior wind lease sales have generated more than $58 million in high bids for more than one million acres in federal waters.

“This is a significant milestone for North Carolina and our country as we continue to make progress on diversifying our nation’s energy portfolio,” said acting BOEM director Walter Cruickshank. “BOEM looks forward to overseeing a successful lease sale in March, to contribute to the region’s energy supply and assist local governments in achieving their goals for energy independence and job creation.”

The final sale notice was published in the Federal Register on Jan. 19. It contains relevant information, such as deadlines and milestones for bidders, the area available for leasing, lease provisions and conditions, auction details, criteria for evaluating bids, award procedures and lease execution.

A revised environmental assessment for North Carolina Wind Energy Areas, including the area off Kitty Hawk, was published in September 2015 and found “no significant impact” for the environment from wind leases and related activities.

More information on the sale is available on BOEM’s website.