After Avangrid Renewables, which recently built North Carolina’s first onshore wind farm, won the rights to develop an offshore wind project off Kitty Hawk for more than USD 9 million, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) hailed the potential effect of the offshore wind industry on the state’s economy.
“The same winds that once lifted the first powered flight above North Carolina’s Outer Banks could soon power thousands if not millions of American homes,” Nancy Sopko, Director, Offshore Wind and Federal Legislative Affairs at AWEA, said. “Millions of dollars in private investment drawn to this new ocean energy resource will help North Carolina’s economy take flight, creating new demand for skilled jobs, factories and U.S. flagged vessels.”
The offshore wind industry has the potential to create highly skilled jobs and revitalise infrastructure in America’s port cities on the East, West and Great Lakes coasts, AWEA stated.
With land-based wind power being the largest source of renewable energy capacity in the US, and employing over 100,000 American workers – including 25,000 manufacturing workers at over 500 factories in 43 states – the country’s first offshore wind farm came online off Rhode Island in December 2016.
The 30MW Block Island Wind Farm facilitated the building of the first US-built offshore wind service vessel. The 21m crew transfer vessel (CTV) was built by Rhode Island-based Blount Boats for Atlantic Wind Transfers to service a 20-year crew transfer contract with Deepwater Wind for its offshore wind farm.