North Carolina has taken the first step toward attracting the offshore wind industry to our state, in keeping with Gov. Roy Cooper’s commitment to acting on climate and boosting our vibrant clean energy industry. The Cooper Administration is moving forward despite legislative leadership’s obstruction of wind energy.
The state Department of Commerce issued a request for proposals for a study of needed improvements to state ports and a manufacturing supply chain to support offshore wind development. Such needs would also represent opportunities for additional jobs and economic growth.
“Not only will this provide key insights to the state’s unique industry qualifications and opportunity areas,” Southeastern Wind Coalition president Katharine Kollins said in a statement, “but it sends an important signal to the offshore wind industry that North Carolina is open for business.”
So far, offshore wind energy projects in the United States have been concentrated in the Northeast. However, Virginia has recently tried to step up their commitment to wind.
The North Carolina supply chain study is one of several important recommendations in the Clean Energy Plan Gov. Cooper’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) released last year. Funding for the study was included in Cooper’s 2019 state budget request, but it has stayed largely tied up in a dispute with Republican legislative leaders. The Commerce Department said it has identified other funding it can shift to pay for the study.
The requested proposals are due June 15, and the state hopes to complete the study by the end of 2020.