North Carolina

North Carolina

North Carolina boasts the largest offshore wind resource potential on the East Coast, as well as 55+ land-based wind manufacturing and service companies across the state. 

While wind energy accounted for only 0.4% of North Carolina’s total generation capacity in 2022, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper established a goal of 30GW of offshore wind by 2030. Additionally, the state has a carbon reduction mandate outlined by HB951, which directs state regulators to take ‘all reasonable steps’ to achieve 70 percent carbon emission reductions from 2005 levels by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 using a least-cost approach.

Land Based Wind

Land based wind has significant potential in North Carolina, but the resource requires significant considerations for siting constraints and turbine technology innovation. SEWC works to reduce barriers to land-based wind development in North Carolina by engaging with key stakeholders and industry players.

Land based wind energy projects also have significant potential to provide many economic benefits to North Carolina, including direct and indirect employment, land lease payments, local tax revenue, and reliable electricity. 

Siting & Permitting

Land based wind projects have the ability to co-exist with agriculture, military installations, avian species, and members of the community. There are a number of regulations, resources, and best practices that ensure wind farms are sited safely and responsibly, taking the military, environment, avian species, cultural, and land use priorities in account.

Federal environmental regulations & cultural preservation efforts require consistency with the Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, and USFWS Wind Energy Guidelines. 

The Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Defense Siting Clearinghouse are the lead agencies to ensure that wind farms are compatible with military operations and readiness. All projects under FAA review are mandatorily subjected to review by the DOD Siting Clearinghouse, and projects are only issues a Determination of No Hazard when both agencies determine that it will not have an adverse impact on military operations and readiness. 

At the local level, zoning ordiances are adopted by a county to promote the orderly and controlled development within its borders. As it relates to wind energy, these ordinances regulate several aspects of a wind farm including setbacks, shadow flicker, decommissioning, and noise. 

Project Pipeline

The Amazon Wind Farm US East (AWFUSE) is a 208 MW land based wind farm in northeastern North Carolina, and it is the first commercial-scale project in the region. The project was developed by Avangrid Renewables and has been in commercial operation in February of 2017. The project is sited on private land in Perquimans and Pasquotank counties, which receive a combined $640,000 annually in property taxes and will continue to do so over the lifetime of the project. This revenue will help to fund schools, infrastructure, and other public services in the community. The 18-month construction utilized more than thirty North Carolina-based companies and over 500 local employees, resulting in an$18 million in local investment. While the project is located on 22,000 acres, the turbines themselves and all associated facilities use less than 1% of the project footprint, allowing agriculture to continue operations under the turbines. 

The Timbermill Wind Project, developed by Apex Energy, is located in Chowan County, North Carolina and has an expected capacity of 189 MW, which is enough energy to power up to 47,000 homes every year. In the long term, the project promises to bring sustained tax revenue to the county for local governments and schools, as well as 30 years of local purchasing, employment, and investment. Farmers who host wind turbines and other participating landowners will also receive annual lease payments. These payments will continue over the projected 30-year lifespan of the wind farm, injecting millions of dollars into Chowan County’s economy to support local merchants, contractors, and equipment suppliers.

Offshore Wind

North Carolina is positioned to be a leader in the offshore wind industry, but it must pursue offshore wind development and manufacturing opportunities to capture its share of this once in a generation economic opportunity.

SEWC works with partners across the region to bring jobs, manufacturing, and responsibly-sited offshore wind farms to North Carolina. The North Carolina Taskforce for Offshore Wind Economic Resource Strategies (NC TOWERS), provides expert advice to Governor Cooper and state policymakers on ways to advance offshore wind energy projects in North Carolina, with a special focus on economic development and job creation. 

We have partnered with the North Carolina Department of Commerce in conjunction in conjunction with the American Clean Power Association and the Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University to feature the supply chain map on the Department of Commerce’s website. This joint effort helps to better connect companies and facilities in the state and region that currently supply or could supply products and services to the wind energy industry (both land-based and offshore).

North Carolina's Advantage

Two deep-water ports with robust infrastructure can attract significant supply chain across the state to support the manufacturing of 8,000+ wind turbine components

55+ existing land-based wind supply chain companies and many more companies interested in supporting the supply chain

World-class university and community college system can support through trade programs, including marine trades

$3.7B in potential net economic impact that North Carolina would realize from 2.8GW of offshore wind development

Project Pipeline

Kitty Hawk Wind is a proposed offshore wind project located approximately 36 miles from Virginia Beach and 27 miles off the coast of North Carolina’s Outer Banks. The project was leased to Avangrid Renewables in 2017, which is also the company responsible for developing and operating the state’s first land-based wind farm.

The Kitty Hawk Wind project will be developed in two tranches, and has the potential to generate 3,500MW of electricity, enough capacity to power approximately one million homes. The first phase of the project is estimated to be operational by 2030, and the second phase is estimated to be operational by 2032.

Carolina Long Bay is a proposed offshore wind project located approximately 22 miles from Bald Head Island, NC. This project is composed of two individual lease areas that were awarded to TotalEnergies Renewables USA and Cinergy Corp., a non-regulated direct subsidiary of Duke Energy, in 2022. With an estimated capacity of 2.4 to 2.6GW, Carolina Long Bay has the potential to power half a million homes.

The project is still in early stages of data collection and site assessment surveying. Each Carolina Long Bay Lessee is required to develop publicly available communication plans and to submit progress reports to BOEM every six months until approval of a Construction and Operations Plan. 

Interested in offshore wind in North Carolina? Checkout our OSW4NC site to see how we have built a coalition of conservation and environmental advocacy groups to responsibly develop North Carolina’s offshore wind capacity.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter and read the fact sheets below to learn more about how offshore wind can benefit North Carolina. 

North Carolina Resources