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Governor Cooper commits state to offshore wind power

Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 9:59 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) -Governor Cooper signed an executive order Wednesday, committing North Carolina to offshore wind power as the state moves towards a clean energy economy.

The executive order goes over the economic and environmental benefits of offshore wind.

Over the next 15 years or so, you may see more movement out along North Carolina’s coast as offshore wind turbines are built and installed.

The executive order instructs the Commerce Department to create a task force that would name a clean energy economic development coordinator and direct the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality and the North Carolina Department of Military and Veterans Affairs to designate offshore wind coordinators and take steps to support offshore wind.

The order establishes offshore wind development goals of 2.8 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030 and 8 gigawatts by 2040 meeting the goal of 8 gigawatts by 2040 that would power about 2.3 million homes with offshore wind.

Right now, there are 3 wind energy areas along North Carolina’s coast. One near Kitty Hawk, which is leased by independent developers, and two off the coast of Wilmington, which are not leased.

But building these targets, made of steel, a generator and blades composed of carbon and glass fibers will require a lot of help, bringing lots of jobs to the area.

Experts say thousands of jobs are on the way for construction and operations once the projects are up.

Experts say these manufacturing plants will not impact life in the water, saying the areas will be completely deconflicted so the turbines can be installed and start doing what they are made to do.

The turbines won’t impact beachgoers and they will more than likely be way offshore to where you might not be able to see them.

Experts said that regulations may have to be developed for fishing and tourism boats for the safety of everyone.

It will be a few years before the turbines are developed and installed, coordinators have to also make sure they won’t interfere with military infrastructure.

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