In a bipartisan effort, governors from Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina have entered into a partnership that will enhance regional collaboration among the states in the collective pursuit of the offshore wind industry. The Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Regional Transformative Partnership for Offshore Wind Energy Resources (SMART-POWER) will synergize each state's strengths and best practices to amplify the opportunity for growth in the burgeoning offshore wind sector.
"We applaud Governors Cooper, Northam and Hogan on this important partnership" says Katharine Kollins, President of the Southeastern Wind Coalition. "The offshore wind industry presents an enormous economic opportunity, and it will take collaborative efforts like this to ensure that we maximize the supply chain and clean energy benefits for the mid-Atlantic and southeast regions.
The MOU announcement comes after each of the states has shown significant economic and resource potential for the development of offshore wind. With each of the states home to active wind lease areas and Virginia successfully developing the first operating project in U.S. Federal waters, the region is poised to be a power house in the offshore wind industry.
A few recent analyses give credibility to the economic activity being created by this brand new industry. A Hampton Roads Alliance study estimates that for every one gigawatt of new offshore wind energy development serviced by Hampton Roads businesses, there will be 5,200 direct and indirect Virginia jobs annually, with about $270 million in pay and benefits. In the Carolinas Wood Mackenzie estimates 40,000 jobs in development, construction, operations and supply chain, and over $45 billion in capital investment if the Carolinas maximize wind leases currently identified.
"We are excited by the opportunity this MOU presents to deepen bipartisan regional support of offshore wind, something the industry has asked for from states, and an approach where collaboration leads to better outcomes for all." Katharine Kollins noted.
Southeastern Wind Coalition | http://www.sewind.org