North Carolina is well-placed to attract a significant portion of a more than US$100Bn market opportunity from the growing offshore wind energy industry, according to a report released by the North Carolina Department of Commerce
Publication of the report from BVG Associates (BVGA) marks the latest step in Governor Cooper’s commitment to build a clean energy economy to fight climate change and grow clean-energy jobs in North Carolina.
The North Carolina Office of Science, Technology, & Innovation led the project for the state and commissioned the report. The BVGA lead team included experts from Lloyd’s Register Energy Americas, Timmons Group, and North Carolina State University and its NC Clean Energy Technology Center.
BVGA forecast that the US east coast will see a total offshore installed capacity exceeding 40 GW by 2035. Reaching this level of capacity will require a manufacturing ‘ecosystem’ to supply component parts for at least 24 utility-scale windfarms.
To reach targets for offshore wind projects already announced by states and site developers, BVGA expects the industry will invest US$140Bn by 2035 to establish and build out its supply chain, install equipment, and operate the wind facilities. It forecasts that North Carolina manufacturers can address and supply equipment for the entire east coast market, not just for projects directly off the state’s coast.
North Carolina commerce secretary Machelle Sanders said, “Wind energy means new jobs for North Carolinians. Just like biotechnology was for us many years ago, clean energy represents an industry of the future and North Carolina always embraces the future.”
The report finds that North Carolina has multiple port and waterfront properties well-suited to support the industry that is developing off the US east coast. The state also has a fully integrated, up-to-date high-capacity intermodal transport system consisting of rail, road, inland waterways, and coastal waterways that connects well to North Carolina’s coastline and adjoining states.
The report includes recommendations for action the state might take to leverage the emerging offshore wind opportunity.
In October 2018, Governor Cooper signed Executive Order 80 to reaffirm North Carolina’s commitment to reduce state-wide greenhouse gas emissions and support the expansion of clean energy businesses.
Among other actions, the executive order directed the Department of Commerce to support the expansion of clean energy businesses and service providers, encourage clean technology investment, and support companies seeking to procure renewable energy.
On 1 October 2019, the Department of Commerce published an extensive workforce assessment for the clean energy and clean transportation industry sectors. On 29 October 2020, the governors of Maryland and Virginia joined Governor Cooper to announce a three-state framework to advance offshore wind projects, known as the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Regional Transformative Partnership for Offshore Wind Energy Resources (SMART-POWER).
Riviera’s Offshore Wind Journal Conference will be held on 25 March 2021 - use this link for more details and to register for this virtual conference