Governor Roy Cooper issued Executive Order No. 218 on June 9, highlighting North Carolina’s commitment to offshore wind power as the state transitions to a clean energy economy.

The Executive Order directs actions to help North Carolina secure the jobs and economic development expected from this 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 capacity 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% 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 Commerce to name a clean energy economic development coordinator and also establish the North Carolina Taskforce for Offshore Wind Economic Resource Strategies.

In addition, the North Carolina Departments of Environmental Quality and Military and Veterans Affairs must designate offshore wind coordinators and take steps to support offshore wind. An interagency workgroup will coordinate activities of the state agencies involved.

In October 2020, the governors of North Carolina, Maryland and Virginia created the SMART-POWER partnership, providing a framework to cooperatively promote, develop and expand offshore wind energy and the accompanying industry supply chain and workforce. The full SMART-POWER memorandum of understanding is available here.

More recently, Commerce released an offshore wind supply chain and infrastructure report examining North Carolina’s opportunities to address the supply chain and manufacturing needs of the industry. That full report is available on Commerce’s website.

Follow news and updates about the state’s efforts to develop the offshore wind industry at the Commerce website..

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