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North Carolina Solidifies Second-Largest Offshore Wind Power Commitment

WASHINGTON, D.C. — North Carolina expanded its commitment to a clean energy economy with a bold new wind energy target. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper issued an executive order setting an offshore wind energy goal of 8 gigawatts (GW) by 2040, with an interim target of 2.8 GW by 2030. Achieving these goals will power 2.3 million homes and help achieve North Carolina’s Clean Energy Plan target of a 70 percent reduction in power sector greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2050.

“This is a huge moment for offshore wind power in the Atlantic, as more states take action to harness this critical climate change solution,” said Catherine Bowes, offshore wind energy program director at the National Wildlife Federation. “We applaud Governor Cooper for this bold step to position North Carolina as a new leader in the growing U.S. offshore wind market, and look forward to working with state agencies, federal regulators, industry leaders, and our many partners to ensure that all projects built to meet this goal are done right, with strong protections and benefits for people and wildlife every step of the way. Offshore wind power can and must be developed in a manner that protects coastal and marine ecosystems, maximizes local economic opportunities, and advances environmental justice.”

“North Carolinians have been eagerly awaiting and urging strong leadership on renewable energy," said Tim Gestwicki, CEO of North Carolina Wildlife Federation. “Governor Cooper is to be applauded for charting the near-term future for offshore wind development. Harnessing this natural resource in a responsible, properly sited manner is good for business, good for fish and wildlife, and frankly, good for life on earth.”

The executive order provides important market certainty regarding the timing and scale of North Carolina’s offshore wind market, and specifically directs state agencies to take a range of coordinated actions focused on job creation, economic development, regional collaboration, and offshore wind permitting.

With this new goal, North Carolina now has one of the largest state offshore wind power targets, second only to New York.

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