Carolinas Collaborate To Accelerate Offshore Wind Projects


In a two-state initiative, a diverse group of participants that spans the public, private, non-profit and educational sectors convened in Charlotte, N.C., on July 7 to work together on accelerating offshore wind development in the Southeast.

North and South Carolina are working together to explore ways to leverage each state's unique experience and resources to establish an offshore wind industry in a way that would be mutually beneficial to both states.

Some of the initial opportunities that were discussed include enabling various research institutions to collaborate on future research projects and exploring the possibility of an offshore wind energy project along the North Carolina-South Carolina border.Â

According to a report by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 33% of the total East Coast offshore wind potential within 50 miles of the shoreline is located off the coast of North and South Carolina, and both states have offshore wind energy resources that exceed their current installed electricity generation capacity. Â

"Based on the report, North Carolina and South Carolina have the largest offshore wind energy resources in shallow water on the Atlantic Seaboard," says Ralph Nichols, wind energy program manager at the DOE's Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL).Â

Represented organizations include Santee Cooper, N.C. Offshore Wind Coalition, N.C. Department of Commerce, N.C. Solar Center, N.C. Energy Office, N.C. Sustainable Energy Association, S.C. Energy Office, Clemson University Restoration Institute, Coastal Carolina University, S.C. Coastal Conservation League, North Strand Coastal Wind Team, and City of North Myrtle Beach.

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