The North Carolina Department of Commerce published a report outlining the state’s existing infrastructure, manufacturing capabilities and recommendations for future actions to support the growth of the offshore wind industry in the state.
Building North Carolina's Offshore Wind Supply Chain: The Roadmap for Leveraging Manufacturing and Infrastructure Advantages was conducted by a group led by BVG Associates and including N.C. State and its Clean Energy Technology Center, and provides a comprehensive assessment of state-owned and private ports which will inform investment decisions to accommodate the construction, operation, and manufacturing of offshore wind farms and their components. Additionally, the report identifies the state’s existing wind energy suppliers, manufacturing strengths, and adjacent industries that are well-positioned to accommodate varying elements of the offshore wind supply chain.
“These assessments will facilitate North Carolina’s efforts in securing as much of the $140 billion offshore wind opportunity as possible” says Katharine Kollins, President of the Southeastern Wind Coalition. “As recognized in the report, North Carolina has the largest manufacturing sector in the Southeast and ranks among the highest in the country. Many of these companies are already supplying the land-based wind industry. This work highlights how that advantage will translate into opportunity for those companies to expand, while also creating a new industry for many other North Carolina businesses.”
The report comes on the heels of the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Regional Transformative Partnership for Offshore Wind Energy Resources (SMART-POWER) announcement. A regional, bipartisan partnership between North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland, SMART-POWER seeks to enhance collaboration among the states in their pursuit of the offshore wind industry.
To further assist the state and other decision makers in building the offshore wind industry in North Carolina, today’s report includes multiple policy and action options, informed by the progress made in other states. Actions are divided into Prepare, Facilitate, and Accelerate pathways. “The report recommends the state accelerate the offshore wind opportunity by initiating development targets to create market opportunities that facilitate demand for localized manufacturing”, adds Kollins. “Manufacturing and infrastructure investments follow procurement goals. We encourage North Carolina to focus on how offshore wind will meet the state’s clean energy goals, while providing thousands of new jobs in multiple sectors across the state.”
As part of this effort, the Department of Commerce has created an offshore wind supply chain database, coordinated with SEWC’s supply chain map, to serve as a resource for turbine suppliers and developers seeking to contract with North Carolina companies.
Southeastern Wind Coalition | http://www.sewind.org