The governors of Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia announced a three-state collaboration to advance offshore wind projects in the region and promote the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic United States as a hub for offshore wind energy and industry.

The creation of the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Regional Transformative Partnership for Offshore Wind Energy Resources (SMART-POWER) provides a framework for the three states to cooperatively promote, develop and expand offshore wind energy and the accompanying industry supply chain and workforce. Specifically, the three states agree to form a SMART-POWER Leadership Team with representatives from each signatory jurisdiction that will work to streamline the development of regional offshore wind resources.

“Maryland has been leading the charge when it comes to real, bipartisan, common-sense solutions and we are proud to continue setting an example for the nation of bold environmental leadership,” said Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan. “Joining this multi-state partnership to expand offshore wind development will further our strong record of supporting responsible energy projects that provide jobs, clean air benefits, and energy independence.”

As Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states become a focus for offshore wind developers and supply chain companies, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia recognize that the fast-growing, the global offshore wind industry has significant potential to drive economic development and job creation as well as reduce the emission of greenhouse gases and other harmful air pollutants. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the Atlantic Coast offshore wind project pipeline is estimated to support up to 86,000 jobs, $57 billion in investments, and provide up to $25 billion in economic output by 2030.

“Offshore wind development combined with our strong solar capacity will bring more high-paying, clean energy jobs to North Carolina while we continue to ramp up our fight against climate change,” said North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper. “This bipartisan agreement with neighboring states allows us to leverage our combined economic power and ideas to achieve cost-effective success.”

Through this partnership, the three states have committed to work together to increase regulatory certainty, encourage manufacturing of component parts, reduce project costs through supply chain development, share information and best practices and promote synergy between industry and the signatory jurisdictions.

“Harnessing the power of offshore wind is key to meeting the urgency of the climate crisis and achieving 100% clean energy by 2050,” said Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam. “Virginia is well-positioned to scale up offshore wind development with a 12-MW wind demonstration project already built off our coast. This agreement will help unlock our collective offshore wind resources and generate tremendous economic and environmental benefits for the region. We look forward to working with our partners in Maryland and North Carolina to grow the offshore wind industry and secure a cleaner, healthier and more resilient future.”

Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia have access to vast resources and assets, such as deepwater ports and transportation infrastructure, top-tier universities and research institutions and highly trained workforces to support the offshore wind industry and supply chain efficiently develop along the Atlantic Coast.

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) issued the following statement after Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia together announced a three-state collaboration to become a hub for the offshore:

“We applaud this bipartisan move by Governors Hogan, Hooper and Northam to harness the employment and investment benefits that offshore wind development represents to their individual states and the whole region,” said Laura Morton, senior director of policy and regulatory affairs for offshore wind, AWEA. “By adding multi-state coordination to their individual efforts, the three states will be able to move forward more efficiently to develop their infrastructure and local supply chains to unleash this brand-new American energy industry and the jobs and investments that come with it. The offshore wind industry stands ready to support the states as we work together to bring clean, reliable and affordable power to communities in the U.S. Southeast and Mid-Atlantic.”

News item from SMART-POWER


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