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Renewable Energy

NC Offshore Wind Projects Create Hundreds of Jobs

The Kitty Hawk Offshore Wind Project is expected to create hundreds of jobs and boost Virginia and North Carolina’s economies in the coming decade. Portland, Oregon-based alternative energy developer Avangrid Renewables is heading the project. Construction is set to begin in 2024 about 27 miles off the coast of the Outer Banks town of Corolla.

An economic study by the company determined that the 122,405-acre site will add $2 billion total to the northeast North Carolina and Virginia economies in the next 10 years.

The multi-phased project is expected to create nearly 800 construction jobs in North Carolina and Virginia, nearly 600 of which Avangrid says will be in the Hampton Roads region. Following the site’s estimated 2030 completion, the project will support nearly 200 full-time jobs in the area with positions like turbine generator technicians, welders, and vessel managers.

Additionally, Avangrid says that the operational facility will support more than 700 indirect jobs. Out of the total estimated 929 post-construction jobs, the company projects that 830 will be located in Hampton Roads.

According to the company the project will have a total generation capacity of up to 2,500 megawatts (MW). That’s enough energy to power 700,000 homes, “approximately four times the number of households in Virginia Beach — with clean energy,” Avangrid noted.

“We’re proud to be the first to submit a federal permit for a commercial-scale offshore wind project in Virginia and the Carolinas,” said Avangrid Renewables’ Head of U.S. Offshore Wind Bill White. “Kitty Hawk Offshore Wind will deliver clean energy to customers in the region and significant economic benefits and quality jobs for decades to come.”

The Avangrid economic study was part of a Construction and Operations Plan (COP) submitted to the Bureau of Ocean Energy and Management (BOEM) in December for the project’s initial phase. The company says that the expected 2024 phase will have a generation capacity of around 800 MW.

“The offshore wind industry presents a tremendous opportunity to the Hampton Roads region,” said President and CEO of the Hampton Roads Alliance Doug Smith. “I look forward to working with Avangrid Renewables as they develop the Kitty Hawk Offshore Wind project and deliver substantial economic benefits to the Hampton Roads region.”

The Kitty Hawk Offshore Wind Project isn’t the only wind power initiative slated for the Hampton Roads region. Dominion Energy has a 2,600 MW wind farm in the works – the largest planned U.S. offshore wind farm – and intends to have the commercial project completed off the coast of Virginia Beach by 2026. The project is expected to create more than 1,100 jobs and add over $700 million to Virginia’s economy, according to an economic impact study conducted by Mangum Economics and funded by the Hampton Roads Alliance. 

Dominion recently announced that it filed a COP with the BOEM to begin construction on its Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) commercial project in 2024. Dominion completed construction on the first phase of CVOW – a 12-megawatt pilot site – last year which features two operational turbines.

Photo of a Dominion Energy CVOW pilot wind turbine, Photo: Dominion Energy

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