Advancing Wind Energy In the Southeast To Bring Economic Benefit to Ratepayers, Residents, Utilities, and Industry

Offshore Wind Will Keep the Lights On

On Christmas Eve, half a million North Carolinians were impacted by rolling blackouts during an extreme cold snap. It brought electric reliability to the forefront of public thought once again. Duke Energy said the cause of the blackouts was a combination of reliance on unavailable purchased power from neighboring utilities and under-performance from key energy resources: two coal plants and a natural gas one. The plants were impacted by weather, causing components to freeze and drastically reduce energy production. Their backup, generators in neighboring utilities, had no power to spare since they experienced the same cold snap.

April 27, 2023 – Sister Cities of Wilmington Panel

Transitioning towards a carbon neutral future involves international cooperation. Sister
Cities of Wilmington will host a panel discussion on April 27 to discuss what will be required to
transform our energy systems. The event will be held in Wilmington City Council Chambers
(Thalian Hall 2nd floor) on Thursday, April 27, 2023 from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm (US/EDT). There
will also be a virtual option available with media and technical support from the City of

Among the topics that will be discussed, said Marilyn Cantarella, President of Sister
Cities of Wilmington, will be renewable energy options including wind, nuclear energy and
battery storage systems. The transition towards a carbon neutral future requires coordination to
expand and diversify manufacturing capacity globally. Justin Sosne, the UK Government
Representative for North Carolina, will speak about pathways of cooperation in the renewables
sector as the UK is a leader in this space. Karly Lohan from the Southeastern Wind Coalition
and member of the NC Task Force on Offshore Wind Economic Resource Strategies (NC
TOWER) will address the off-shore wind turbines currently in the pipe-line for Southeastern NC.
Justin Swan representing the Banks Group headquartered in Durham (UK) will discuss a battery
storage project in Doncaster planned for a shuttered coal plant that will complement renewable
energy systems allowing energy to be stored and released when more power is needed. Jon
Ball with GE-Hitachi will talk about the future of nuclear which is the second largest source of
low-carbon electricity behind hydrogen power. GE-Hitachi is headquartered in Wilmington and
is positioned to grow as the world transitions away from fossil fuels.

“The climate crisis looms larger with each passing year and since the UN Climate
Change Conference (COP21) was held in Paris eight years ago it has connected us to each
other and across political boundaries from that pivotal moment to 2023”, said Cantarella, adding
that Sister Cities is pleased to convene this program on transforming our energy systems and
reducing the world’s dependence on fossil fuels. She hopes the panel will benefit leaders in both
the public/private sectors in North Carolina and sister city partners from around the globe as
well as other communities united in finding low-carbon solutions and new markets.
Pre-registration is required to attend the event in-person. To register: The panel moderator will be UNCW faculty
member, Larry Cahoon. Dr. Cahoon has been following climate change and processes for years.

All registered attendees are invited to partake of the panel discussion. The panel will be live-
streamed on YouTube (live link accessible on calendar) and questions can also be asked in the chat room.

Contact: Phillip Hanna 919-475-5668

Offshore Wind in the Southeast

According to the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia have 82% of the East Coast resource in shallow water and more than 12 miles offshore and 45% of the total East Coast offshore wind resource.

Proximity to the warm water of the Gulf Stream to the coast, especially off North Carolina, creates a highly energetic microclimate with higher wind speeds

A gently sloping continental shelf allows for the more cost competitive fixed-bottom structure wind turbines to be placed farther away from the coast, especially compared to the North. The greater the distance from shore, the stronger the wind resource.

The Southeast Leads In Offshore Wind

27 miles off the coast of Virginia Dominion Energy is building the largest offshore wind project in the United States. At 176 turbines, Dominion’s CVOW project will generate 2.6gw of carbon free energy. Enough to power over 660,000 homes!

Dominion CVOW image

Supply Chain Map

The Southeastern Wind Coalition has worked with the American Wind Energy Association and the Solar Center at NC State to create a Wind Industry Supply Chain Asset Map for the Southeast region. This project maps all of the companies and facilities in the region that currently supply or could supply products and services to the wind industry. This is a living map and we highly encourage wind industry contacts to participate!

Land Based Wind In The Southeast

 The first and only large-scale project in the Southeast is Avangrid’s Amazon Wind Farm US East (AWFUSE). A 208 MW wind farm in northeast North Carolina, the project reached full commercial operation in February 2017.


Land Based Wind

Despite having few utility-scale wind energy installations, there are significant land-based wind resources in the Southeast. Technological advancements such as longer blade lengths and taller towers are opening up areas in the Southeast for wind development that were previously thought to be unviable by allowing developers to access faster wind speeds at higher altitude.

States We Work In

Our work at the Southeastern Wind Coalition covers the entire southeastern region, with a particular focus on the highlighted states. Click to learn more about our work.