Cooper seeks to ignite NC wind projects, sets power goal

Date Published:

Gov. Roy Cooper unveiled more efforts on Wednesday to boost development of generating wind turbine energy off the North Carolina coast over the next two decades.

The governor issued an executive order directing his Commerce Department to create a task force that would seek to advance projects and boost their economic benefits, and to name a clean energy economic development coordinator.

Cooper’s military affairs and environmental departments also were told to take action, such as by working with federal officials to streamline permits and avoid proposals that interfere with military installations.

Cooper’s order also sets a electric production goal for offshore wind energy of 2.8 gigawatts off the North Carolina coast by 2030 and 8 gigawatts by 2040. Meeting the 2040 goal would be the equivalent of powering roughly 2.3 million homes, a Cooper news release said.

“Offshore wind power will help North Carolina create jobs and generate economic development while helping us transition to a clean energy economy,” Cooper said.

The news release said the wind power will help meet his administration’s Clean Energy Plan targets of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from power sources by 70% by 2030, with carbon neutrality by 2050. State law doesn’t mandate that the goals must be met.

“Harnessing the massive potential of wind off our coast is a key component to transitioning our state to 100 percent clean energy,” Drew Ball, Environment North Carolina director, said in a statement. “With some of the greatest potential for offshore wind in the country, North Carolina stands to gain a lot from wise investments in offshore wind.”

“The fossil fuel industry has been attempting to drill off of North Carolina’s pristine beaches for years, which would be disastrous for coastal communities,” commercial fisherman Mark Hooper said in a statement. “However, offshore wind has the potential to power our homes and businesses with clean, renewable energy.”

Original Source: WRAL News