Biden-Harris Administration Announces Carolina Offshore Wind Auction Winners

Governor Roy Cooper of North Carolina responded to the Office of Ocean Energy Management’s decision to exclude areas of coastal North Carolina from the final wind power areas in the Mid-Atlantic Calling Area. The bureau announced three final wind energy areas for further study, which are located offshore from Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. Two sites on the North Carolina coast were initially considered for the project.

Governor Cooper expressed disappointment in the decision, but assured that it would not hinder North Carolina’s progress in meeting its offshore wind goals. The state remains committed to becoming a leader in offshore wind power and will continue to work toward its clean energy economy. Governor Cooper stressed the importance of collaboration with the Office of Ocean Energy Management to find alternative solutions to address this setback.

Despite the exclusion, North Carolina is dedicated to developing the supply chain and workforce needed to support offshore wind. The state has already leased more than 232,496 acres off its coast for offshore wind development. In 2021, Governor Cooper signed Executive Order 218, setting targets of 2.8 gigawatts of offshore wind development by 2030 and 8.0 gigawatts by 2040. Achieving these targets would power approximately 2.3 million homes in the state by 2040 and would align with legal requirements.

President Biden has also set goals for offshore wind, targeting 30 gigawatts by 2030 and 110 gigawatts by 2050. These goals would provide clean power to more than 10 million American homes by 2030.

Interested parties have a 30-day comment period to provide comments on the final proposed wind energy areas.

Casey Martinez