A new regional coalition will focus on advancing the coastal and offshore wind energy industry in Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida.
Members of the group, called the Southeastern Coastal Wind Coalition, will include businesses, industry members, economic developers, academic institutions and nonprofits that support the development of the wind power industry.
The coalition will explore opportunities for regional collaboration among both the public and private sectors, including a focus on ways to grow the wind industry manufacturing base in the region. The group also plans to work closely with utilities to explore options for building the industry.
"This region has some very compelling strengths, including competitive labor markets, an enormous offshore wind resource and the lowest estimated construction costs on the East Coast," says Jen Banks, wind coordinator at the North Carolina Solar Center and the coalition's director of operations. "That's why there are already several thousand wind industry jobs in the Southeast."
"Seizing this opportunity calls for regional cooperation, infrastructure and deployment approaches," adds Fara Courtney, executive director of the U.S. Offshore Wind Collaborative. "Individual state action alone is not enough."