Governor Roy Cooper Sets Offshore Wind Development Goals For North Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 9, 2021
Media Contact: Katharine Kollins, Southeastern Wind Coalition, (303) 564-9687, katharinek@sewind.org

RALEIGH, North Carolina- June 9, 2021- North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper issued an executive order (EO 218) today setting offshore wind development goals of 2,800-megawatts by 2030 and 8,000-megawatts by 2040.

“These development goals are among the most ambitious in the country, setting the stage for North Carolina to emerge as a leader in offshore wind development and manufacturing,” said Katharine Kollins, president of Southeastern Wind Coalition. “We applaud Governor Cooper’s leadership in encouraging this burgeoning industry that presents the opportunity to create thousands of jobs and a new sector of North Carolina’s economy while generating home-grown, clean energy off our coast.”

These goals have the potential to play a key role in achieving the carbon reduction targets set forth by Governor Cooper’s EO 80 and align with Duke Energy’s most recent Integrated Resource Plan which anticipated the inclusion of offshore wind as a necessary technology for the company to reach net-zero by 2050.

In addition to the development goals, EO 218 will establish a position within the N.C. Department of Commerce to lead clean energy economic development for the state to include offshore wind and the creation of the North Carolina Task Force on Offshore Wind Economic Resource Strategies (NC TOWERS) which will provide expert insight for advancing North Carolina offshore wind energy projects, economic development, and job creation. This effort supports the findings from the recently published report out of the N.C. Department of Commerce that outlined specific assets that North Carolina brings to the offshore wind industry, including an established land-based wind supply chain and the strongest manufacturing economy on the East coast.

To further assert offshore wind as a priority industry for North Carolina, EO 218 directs the Department of Environmental Quality and the Department of Military and Veteran Affairs to identify leadership within the agencies to ensure the responsible siting and development of offshore wind projects.

“Today’s announcement culminates years of measured action by the state to pursue the industry in ways that maximize the benefit for residents and ratepayers of North Carolina, and is informed by strong, bipartisan support for offshore wind across the state,” Kollins said.

According to polling commissioned by SEWC and conducted by Nexus Polling, the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication earlier this year, more than 7 in 10 North Carolina voters support the development of offshore wind. 

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) indicated the intention of moving forward with offshore wind leasing on the coast of North Carolina in a recent letter to North Carolina congress members David Rouzer (R-07) and Deborah Ross (D-02). Earlier this year, Rouzer and Ross led a bipartisan effort from the North Carolina congressional delegation urging BOEM to promptly and responsibly advance lease sales of existing wind energy areas (WEAs) and identify new WEAs in North Carolina-adjacent federal waters. 

 

About Southeastern Wind Coalition (SEWC)

SEWC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to advancing wind energy in the U.S. southeast in ways that result in net economic benefit to industry, utilities, ratepayers, and residents of the Southeast. For more information, please visit www.sewind.org

# # #