Governor of North Carolina commits to 8 GW offshore wind goal


North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has issued Executive Order No. 218, underlining North Carolina’s commitment to offshore wind power. The Order establishes offshore wind development goals of 2.8 GW off the North Carolina coast by 2030 and 8 GW by 2040.

Achieving these goals is expected power roughly 2.3 million homes by 2040, in addition to creating economic benefits across North Carolina. It is expected to support the state achieving the North Carolina Clean Energy Plan goal of a 70% reduction in power sector greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2050. The Executive Order includes directions to help North Carolina secure jobs and economic development associated with the industry’s estimated $140 billion investment over the next 15 years to develop projects from North Carolina up the Atlantic Coast.

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 also 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 Order directs quarterly meetings of the North Carolina Offshore Wind Interagency Work Group to ensure offshore wind activities are well coordinated among leadership in relevant agencies.

“Offshore wind power will help North Carolina create jobs and generate economic development while helping us transition to a clean energy economy,”
said North Carolina Governor Roy 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 Executive Order follows a bipartisan memorandum of understanding among the governors of North Carolina, Maryland and Virginia in October 2020 that created the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Regional Transformative Partnership for Offshore Wind Energy Resources (SMART-POWER). The SMART-POWER MOU provides a framework for the three states to cooperatively promote, develop and expand offshore wind energy and the accompanying industry supply chain and workforce.  

To remind,
last month BOEM concluded a wind energy auction covering two lease areas offshore the Carolinas, United States after 18 rounds of bids.  The lease areas cover 110,091 acres within the Wilmington East Wind Energy Area (WEA) in the Carolina Long Bay area that could result in at least 1.3 GW of offshore wind energy, expected to power nearly 500,000 homes.

For more information on offshore wind farms worldwide, click here.