North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has issued Executive Order No. 218.

The executive order highlights the economic and environmental benefits of offshore wind and directs actions to help North Carolina secure jobs and economic development 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,” says Cooper. “North Carolina’s manufacturing capabilities and 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 GW off the North Carolina coast by 2030 and 8 GW 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.

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). It 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 follows an October 2020 bipartisan memorandum of understanding (MOU) among the governors of North Carolina, Maryland and Virginia 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.

Recently, the North Carolina Department of Commerce released an offshore wind supply chain and infrastructure report that examines North Carolina’s opportunities to address the offshore wind industry’s supply chain and manufacturing needs.

To access Cooper’s Executive Order No. 218, click here.

Photo: Roy Cooper

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