The 495-square-kilometre parcel is located 44 kilometres off Kitty Hawk, on the coast of North Carolina, east US.
Nine wind developers have qualified to take part in the auction, but with some notable absences.
Iberdrola's US subsidiary Avangrid, Canadian energy firm Enbridge, Dutch oil firm Shell, Gemini developer Northland Power, German offshore wind developers Wpd and PNE Wind's US arm, Norwegian offshore firm Statoil, and local groups Wind Future and Outer Banks Ocean Energy — owned by US developer Apex Clean Energy — have all qualified.
But missing are usual suspects Dong Energy, Deepwater Wind and US Wind, owners of previous federal offshore wind zones.
The DOI and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will be hoping the auction is as successful as its previous sale. In December, Statoil won the New York lease auction after record 33 rounds of bidding.
The total lease price was $42.5 million more than two and a half times the amount of the preceding nine offshore wind auctions combined.