North Carolina is home to the largest offshore wind resource on the east coast as well as more than 55 land-based wind manufacturing and service companies. While wind energy accounted for only .4% of North Carolina’s total generation capacity in 2021, state goals set by Governor Cooper’s EO 218 aim for 30 gw by 2030. Several projects already exist in the pipeline in various stages.
For offshore wind, this includes the Kitty Hawk Wind Energy Area held by Avangrid Renewables. The site was leased in 2017 for $9,066,650 and is predicted to produce up to 2.5GW in its 122,405 acres. Further South is the Carolina Long Bay Wind Energy Area which is actually split into two lease areas of approximately the same size. Lease area OCS-A 0545 was sold to TotalEnergies for $160 million in May 2022, while lease area OCS546 was sold to Duke Energy for $155 million. They hold a combined capacity of approximately 1.3 GW across its 110,091 acres.
Land-based wind in North Carolina exists mostly on the Eastern side of the state. AWFUSE or Amazing Wind Farm US East was built by Avangrid Renwables and is North Carolina’s first wind farm. Fully operational in 2017, the farm spans 22,000 acres across Pasquotank and Perquiman counties, with only 200 acres of that footprint actually occupied by facilities (turbines, substations, O&M buildings). The total of 104 turbines deliver 208 mw of power. Additionally, the Timbermill wind project by Apex Clean Energy is located in Chowan County, NC and is estimated to deliver 189mw. This project is still under development with operation estimated to start in December 2024.
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.
Helpful Links & Resources
BOEM is responsible for offshore renewable energy development in Federal waters. The program began in 2009, when the Department of the Interior (DOI) announced the final regulations for the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Renewable Energy Program, which was authorized by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct).
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO) funds research nationwide to enable the development and deployment of offshore wind technologies that can capture wind resources off the coasts of the United States and convert that wind into electricity.
NOAA Fisheries is responsible for the stewardship of the nation’s ocean resources and their habitat. NOAA works with the offshore wind industry on minimizing the impacts to ocean resources, critical habitats, and fishing opportunities throughout the planning, siting, and development stages.
State of North Carolina
The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is the lead stewardship agency for the protection of North Carolina’s environmental resources. The State of North Carolina works with federal agency partners to responsibly identify offshore wind opportunities for North Carolina’s outer continental shelf.
The North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) is responsible for the stewardship of the state’s marine and estuarine resources. The DMF’s jurisdiction encompasses all coastal waters and extends to 3 miles offshore.
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council is one of eight regional fishery management councils established by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act in 1976 to manage fisheries within U.S. federal waters.
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, headquartered in Charleston, S.C., is responsible for the conservation and management of fish stocks within the federal 200-mile limit of the Atlantic off the coasts of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and east Florida to Key West.