Two new offshore wind projects could bring as many as 28,000 jobs to North Carolina in the coming years. As proposed by the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association, Kitty Hawk and Wilmington East would be located at the state’s northern and southern ends, respectively. Combined, they could power at least 1.2 million homes with sustainable, cost-effective electricity.
The Kitty Hawk offshore proposal is a wind collection project that would be built 27 miles off the coast of the Outer Banks, between North Carolina and Virginia.
In addition to the thousands of construction jobs, it will also deliver 800 long-term jobs to the two states. When finished, this project will create 2,500 megawatts of electricity.
Its wind energy area is 200 square miles and was carefully chosen to minimize environmental impacts on the marine environment and coastal communities that rely on the ocean. The area is relatively isolated, avoiding water space commonly used for commercial fishing, shipping, or military exercises.
Further south, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has leased two sections of the Wilmington East wind energy area large enough to potentially generate 1.48 gigawatts of electricity. It will retain up to 2,500 jobs even after construction is complete.
“I have always supported an all-of-the-above energy strategy, and [these leases] ensure North Carolina becomes the natural leader in offshore wind energy it is poised to be,” said North Carolina U.S. Rep. David Rouzer. “It will also help provide an economic shot in the arm for many communities that desperately need it. Done correctly, these offshore wind projects will be a win-win for everyone — out of sight from shore — benefiting tourism, enhancing the fisheries, while also creating good jobs and bringing new investment to the state .”
Together, these projects could result in a net economic benefit of close to $5 billion for the Tar Heel State’s economy. Homeowners and businesses can expect lower electrical rates once they are up and running.
Both are a vital part of North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s goals, which stipulate 2.8 gigawatts of wind energy before the decade’s end. Kitty Hawk and Wilmington East also support the federal transition to a green economy to strengthen American energy independence, create new jobs, and lower nationwide costs.
“At a time when gas prices are soaring, and our reliance on oil has been magnified, we must make real investments in renewable energy,” said North Carolina U.S. Rep. Deborah Ross. “This will move us toward a cleaner energy future, create jobs, and position North Carolina as a leader in offshore wind energy production.”