RALEIGH, North Carolina, June 10, 2021 (ENS) – North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, a Democrat, Wednesday issued an executive order emphasizing North Carolina’s commitment to offshore wind power as the state transitions to a clean energy economy.
The executive order highlights the economic and environmental benefits of offshore wind and directs actions to help North Carolina secure the jobs and economic development associated with the wind industry’s estimated $140 billion investment over the next 15 years to develop projects from North Carolina up the Atlantic Coast.
“Offshore wind power will help North Carolina create jobs and generate economic development while helping us transition to a clean energy economy,” said Governor Cooper. “North Carolina’s national leadership in clean energy and manufacturing plus our highly trained workforce create a strong business environment for offshore wind supply chain and manufacturing companies.”
The order establishes offshore wind development goals of 2.8 gigawatts off the North Carolina coast by 2030 and 8.0 GW by 2040. Achieving these goals will power roughly 2.3 million homes by 2040.
In addition to creating economic benefits across North Carolina, the development will help achieve the North Carolina Clean Energy Plan goal of a 70 percent reduction in power sector greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2050.
“This coordinated approach to developing our offshore wind supply chain will bring new jobs to North Carolina for generations to come,” said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. “From building out the supply chain, to installing equipment, to operating the wind facilities, North Carolina’s manufacturers and workforce are well positioned to play an integral role in the entire East Coast market, not just for projects directly off the state’s coast.”
“The coordinated effort of state and federal partners on this issue is an important step forward in our transition to a clean energy economy in North Carolina and key to meeting the goals of the state’s Clean Energy Plan,” said North Carolina Clean Energy Director Dionne Delli-Gatti.
The order directs the North Carolina Department of Commerce to name a clean energy economic development coordinator and establish the North Carolina Taskforce for Offshore Wind Economic Resource Strategies (NC TOWERS).
The order directs the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality and the North Carolina Department of Military and Veterans Affairs to designate offshore wind coordinators and take steps to support offshore wind.
The executive order follows a bipartisan memorandum of understanding among the governors of North Carolina, Maryland and Virginia in October 2020 to cooperatively promote, develop and expand offshore wind energy and the accompanying industry supply chain and workforce.
Featured image: Dredger for the City of Westminster passes the Thanet Wind Farm off Broadstairs, Kent, UK, August 13, 2017 (Photo by Acabashi)