The North Carolina Department of Commerce issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to solicit an offshore wind supply chain and infrastructure assessment for the state. The analysis will identify North Carolina's existing strengths and capabilities as they pertain to the offshore wind industry, and help to develop a strategic roadmap to support the state's efforts in attracting the industry's manufacturing supply chain.
"This assessment will be a critical stepping stone to North Carolina attracting some of the $70b offshore wind investment coming to the U.S in the next ten years." said Katharine Kollins, President of the Southeastern Wind Coalition. "Not only will this provide key insights to the state's unique industry qualifications and opportunity areas, but it sends an important signal to the offshore wind industry that North Carolina is open for business."
Many states that are leading the way in offshore wind have conducted similar studies at the onset of their commitment to the industry, including Massachusetts, New Jersey, and neighboring Virginia. These states have continued to make measured steps to recruit and promote offshore wind, and are seeing significant manufacturing and infrastructure investments as a result.
North Carolina is well-positioned to transition to offshore wind given the strong land-based wind manufacturing and component supply chain that already exists in the state, including Saertex in Huntersville, NEG in Shelby, and Nucor Steel in Cofield. Kollins says this is precisely why now is the right time for the state to solicit this study. "With the economy as uncertain as it is during these trying times, it makes sense that the state is choosing to pursue an industry that will grow so many of the businesses that already call North Carolina home, while bringing new opportunities and jobs along with it."
Chris Chung, Executive Director of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina adds "This RFP marks an exciting milestone in North Carolina's efforts to seize on the economic development potential of the offshore wind industry. Identifying and inventorying our state's unique supply chain and infrastructure assets for offshore wind is a critical step forward, especially as we position North Carolina as an optimal location for manufacturing the components that support this fast-growing sector of the renewable energy economy."
This announcement supports the offshore wind goals outlined in Governor Roy Cooper's Clean Energy Plan, and mirrors his proposed budget as well as legislation introduced last year by Representatives Holly Grange and John Torbett included in the 2019 House budget and final budget conference report.
Firms interested in submitting proposals can find more information through this link, or by visiting the State of North Carolina's Interactive Purchasing Systemwebsite and search bid #43-1259-20 "Offshore Wind (OSW) Supply Chain & Infrastructure Assessments". Proposals are to be submitted by June 15th.
Southeastern Wind Coalition | http://www.sewind.org