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IRA Eliminates Coastal Wind Moratorium

One of the noteworthy impacts of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is of special note to the Carolina coast: elimination of the Trump-era moratorium on new offshore wind projects.

While leasing for future projects was already underway, the IRA ends the moratorium and sets the stage to aggressively move forward with offshore wind development. That includes additional leasing opportunities, as well as the development of critical transmission infrastructure and port facilities to handle construction and maintenance. 

Katherine Kollins, president of the Southeastern Wind Coalition, discussed the implications of the repeal with the Coastal Review

“There’s a lot of discussion and a lot of planning right now by the federal government to look at how we can build a transmission backbone, they’re calling it, so that you don’t have individual lines going from every East Coast project to shore. That’s the most economically or environmentally efficient way to build offshore transmission, if we’re talking about the 30 gigawatts-plus of development over the next few decades,” she said.

“We’ve heard from a number of companies that the [North Carolina] ports authority could do more to ready the ports for the kinds of construction and operations capabilities that will be required to fully support this industry,” she said. “I think we’ve seen a lot of support certainly from the governor’s office in North Carolina — not as much directly from the port.”

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