North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, D, laid out ambitious offshore wind goals Wednesday as the state pushes toward its aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 70% below 2005 levels by 2030.
Cooper’s executive order calls for the state to develop 2.8 GW of offshore wind projects by 2030 and 8 GW by 2040, or enough turbines to power 2.3 million homes.
The governor’s move comes as President Joe Biden’s administration pushes ahead with its own ambitious offshore wind agenda, with a key meeting slated for next week.
With the executive order, North Carolina becomes the latest East Coast state to roll out an ambitious offshore wind development plan.
New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts are all now pursuing sweeping plans of their own, with the 800 MW Vineyard Wind project off Massachusetts’ coast expected to be the first utility-scale offshore wind project in the U.S.
But North Carolina’s commitment is one of the biggest to date, stacking up against Virginia’s goal of installing 5.2 GW of offshore wind power by 2034 and New Jersey’s goal of 7.5 GW by 2035, said Michelle Allen, project manager for the North Carolina political affairs team at the Environmental Defense Fund.