North Carolina Governor Proposes Offshore Wind Study

North Carolina's Governor Roy Cooper has set aside USD 1.5 million to boost clean energy and green businesses in the proposed 2019-2021 budget, including a study on North Carolina’s potential to host offshore wind operations and associated jobs.

The USD 300,000 study would evaluate state-owned and privately held ports with the potential to host offshore wind industry operations, offshore wind maintenance, or wind component and assembly manufacturing facilities.

The supply chain analysis would identify strategic opportunities to leverage North Carolina's businesses and workforce in the growing offshore wind industry, according to the proposed budget.

The study would be carried out in 2019 or 2020.

The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) currently has 15 active offshore wind leases. The lease areas in the Atlantic Ocean have a combined capacity of around 14GW. The East Coast states have committed to developing around 12GW of offshore wind capacity.

The National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) has called on BOEM to develop an offshore wind leasing plan that schedules at least four 500MW lease sales annually, with a target of an additional 20GW of offshore wind by 2034.

The US Department of Energy found that the US could install a total of 22,000MW of offshore wind projects by 2030 and 86,000MW by 2050, creating thousands of well-paying jobs in coastal communities.

Waters offshore North Carolina are home to the Kitty Hawk lease area. Avangrid Renewables secured the rights to develop the 122,405-acre lease area offshore Kitty Hawk in May 2017. The lease area has a potential generating capacity of 1,486MW.

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