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June 10, 2021

North Carolina sets new offshore wind targets under executive order

The executive order underlines North Carolina’s commitment to offshore wind power.

By Umesh Ellichipuram

The state government of North Carolina has set a target of 2.8GW offshore wind capacity by 2030 and 8GW by 2040 by issuing a new executive order.

Executive Order 218 was released this week by Governor Roy Cooper.

Governor Cooper said: “Offshore wind power will help North Carolina create jobs and generate economic development while helping us transition to a clean energy economy.

“The state’s national leadership in clean energy and manufacturing, plus our highly trained workforce, create a strong business environment for offshore wind supply chain and manufacturing companies.”

These targets are part of the state government’s plan to supply clean energy to 2.3 million homes by 2040.

This will require an estimated $140bn investment over the next 15 years to develop projects from North Carolina along the Atlantic Coast.

As well as generating clean energy, the projects would create jobs and bring other economic benefits to the region.

The executive order will also help the state to achieve its Clean Energy Plan, which aims to reduce its power sector’s greenhouse gas emissions by 70% by 2030 and become carbon-neutral by 2050.

With the executive order issued, the North Carolina Department of Commerce must name a clean energy economic development coordinator and create the North Carolina Taskforce for Offshore Wind Economic Resource Strategies (NC TOWERS).

Under the order, the North Carolina Offshore Wind Interagency Workgroup must conduct quarterly meetings to ensure that offshore wind activities are “well-coordinated” among the leaderships of relevant agencies.

The order also requires the state’s Department of Environmental Quality and Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (NCDMVA) to elect offshore wind coordinators and take steps to support offshore wind.

NCDMVA Secretary Walter E Gaskin said: “We support this effort and look forward to continued coordination to help North Carolina meet its renewable energy goals while maintaining our military readiness and ensuring our national security.”

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