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WILMINGTON, NC (AP) — The Obama administration is holding public meetings as it gauges commercial interest in wind farms off North Carolina’s northern Outer Banks and Cape Fear.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is holding a meeting Wednesday in Wilmington from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Courtyard Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach at 151 Van Campen Blvd. A similar meeting was held Monday at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head.

The government said last month it wanted to hear who would be interested in leasing blocks of ocean to build and operate offshore wind farms in three potential areas. One area is six miles off Kitty Hawk, while the other two are seven miles and 13 miles at sea south of Wilmington.

Federal officials picked those spots because they are attractive for commercial offshore wind development while also protecting natural resources and minimizing conflicts with military operations, shipping and fishing.

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