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North Carolina Finalizes its Offshore Wind Supply Chain Analysis

On March 3rd, North Carolina finalized its offshore wind supply chain analysis begun several months earlier.  As a reminder, the N.C. Department of Commerce, Board of Science, Technology, and Innovation initiated its offshore wind study for North Carolina to characterize the wind opportunity for the state; assess the advantages the state has in its existing assets and business potential; review and identify business incentives and policy gaps; and finally, look at the state infrastructure including North Carolina’s ports.

The consulting firm, BVG Associates, was chosen to do the completed study. The company has a long history of this type of work; in fact, they completed a similar study for the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The high-level results of the study include the following:

  • The importance of strategically position North Carolina by leveraging the state’s manufacturing roots. North Carolina companies form a strong basis for supply to the fast-growing offshore wind industry. North Carolina is a business friend state and many companies are well represented, such as Nucor, Hitachi ABB, GE, and LS Cable. The onshore wind energy industry already has a strong supply chain presence in North Carolina, with more than 70 active suppliers and nearly 30 of them producing components for the wind power sector. Although that production is focused on the onshore wind industry, it clearly indicates the flexibility and commitment of North Carolina companies to pursue new markets.
  • Special consideration of policies to accelerate the offshore wind industry through options such as an offshore wind target as other New England states and the Commonwealth of Virginia have done, a procurement mechanism, a renewable energy equipment manufacturing tax credit, or other incentive support;
  • Targeted efforts for North Carolina’s workforce. North Carolina workforce recommendations encompass both manufacturing ideas focused on promotion and specific targeting of existing programs, and construction, operation and maintenance ideas focus on developing a clear understanding of needs and identification of existing training and gaps.
  • Importance of addressing one of the largest weakness of North Carolina entering the offshore wind marketplace and that is the lack of existing port facilities, designated ports. The North Carolina ports are not well located to support BOEM Lease Areas. But there are several properties that could be effectively redeveloped to support the OSW uses including Radio Island, Southport/North Carolina International Terminal, Wilmington Business Park/Vertex Property and the North Property.

North Carolina has already launched an Offshore Wind Supply Chain Registry database to facilitate business opportunities to promote companies offering, or considering offering, products and services, to encourage business partnerships, and to provide developers and OEMs easy access to the North Carolina supply chain.

North Carolina Governor Cooper just signed a three-state alliance for offshore wind collaboration with the states of Virginia and Maryland. This pact will ensure that the Mid Atlantic has regulatory certainty and lower project costs through supply chain development.

With the completion of the offshore wind study and a clear presentation of the ways to move the industry forward, North Carolina can lead in developing this clean energy resource.




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