North Carolina has set itself targets to develop 2.8GW of offshore wind by 2030 and 8GW by 2040, under an executive order signed by governor Roy Cooper.
Cooper’s executive order builds on a 2018 order mandating the state to transition to clean energy. In a report released earlier this year, it was found that North Carolina could see significant economic benefits from embracing offshore wind energy.
“The governor’s large procurement goal further solidifies investor confidence in the US market and will help drive investment decisions to North Carolina and American shores,” said Sam Salustro, director of coalitions and strategic partnerships at the Business Network for Offshore Wind, an organisation that aims to establish a robust offshore wind supply chain in the US.
He added that North Carolina has the potential to become a major player in the US offshore wind industry. “Every day more is revealed about the overall US market’s true size as more states turn to offshore wind to supply clean, renewable energy and serve as an economic engine for growth and job creation,” Salustro said.
North Carolina’s announcement adds to the momentum building up in the US offshore wind industry since Joe Biden took office in mid-January.
Commitments to offshore wind power generation by US states now total 40GW, stretching from the Carolinas to the Gulf of Maine.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is starting discussions on the potential for offshore wind development in the Gulf of Mexico, and has said it is working to prepare two more wind energy areas for lease off the Carolina coast.