Gov. Cooper addresses NC offshore wind potential at NC TOWERS taskforce meeting

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North Carolina Construction News staff writer

Gov. Roy Cooper visited the Dominion Energy wind turbines off the coast of Virginia and addressed the third North Carolina Taskforce for Offshore Wind Economic Resource Strategies (NC TOWERS) this week.

“The potential for reliable, affordable offshore wind energy in North Carolina that grows our economy and benefits our environment has never been stronger,” Cooper said.

“The economy is rapidly embracing clean energy and seeing the wind turbines up close underscores how investing in this exciting industry will bring tremendous opportunities to combat climate change, power homes and businesses, and put money in the pockets of North Carolina families.”

Officials say offshore wind projects support the state’s transition toward a clean energy future. In June 2021, Gov. Cooper signed Executive Order No. 218, establishing North Carolina’s offshore wind development goals of 2.8 gigawatts off the North Carolina coast by 2030 and 8.0 GW by 2040. The order also established the NC TOWERS taskforce.

In June 2022, NC TOWERS released a report highlighting its work and identifying goals for the taskforce in the 2022-2023 year. The taskforce has established four subcommittees to focus on Economic Opportunity and Business Development, Workforce, Education, and Training Opportunity Development, Infrastructure, Environmental Justice, and Inclusion, and Outreach and Engagement.

Gov. Cooper issued Executive Order No. 246 in January 2022 to establish next steps in the state’s plan to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and reaffirm North Carolina’s commitment to a clean energy economy. The order updated North Carolina’s economy-wide carbon reduction emissions goals, increasing the statewide goal to a 50% reduction from 2005 levels by 2030 and achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible, no later than 2050.

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