The leases are part of President Joe Biden’s goal of increasing clean energy generation and providing the U.S. with more independent sources of power and lowering electricity bills for customers, the U.S. Department of the Interior said in a news release Friday.
The sites being put up for auction May 11 are about 110,000 acres (44,500 hectares) that are 50 miles (80 kilometers) east of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and about 30 miles (48 kilometers) south of Bald Head Island in North Carolina.
Sixteen bidders have been found eligible and they can buy either or both sites, officials said.
If fully developed, the sites could generate 1.3 gigawatts of power, or enough to power nearly 500,000 homes.
The agency has already leased wind power sites off New York’s coast and is planning to add sites off California and Oregon, the Gulf of Maine, the Gulf of Mexico and in the central Atlantic Ocean, the statement said.