Raleigh, N.C. – Today, Representatives Deborah Ross (NC-02) and David Rouzer (NC-07) led the North Carolina delegation in sending a letter to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Director Amanda Lefton expressing support for the Bureau’s efforts to promptly and responsibly advance lease sales of existing wind energy areas (WEAs) and identify new WEAs off the coast of North Carolina. The state has the potential to be a national leader in offshore wind energy generation capacity, research, and manufacturing.

The letter read in part, “The offshore wind industry is projected to invest nearly $140 billion in the U.S. by 2035 for the manufacturing, construction, and maintenance of offshore wind projects. As a new industry for the U.S., offshore wind presents the opportunity to develop a substantial domestic manufacturing supply chain, create well-paying jobs, and infuse new manufacturing investments and tax revenues across the country.

“North Carolina is particularly well-positioned to meaningfully contribute to the offshore wind industry. We rank first among east coast states in both technical potential for offshore wind generation capacity and manufacturing workforce. Together with an established land-based wind industry supply chain, world-class university and community college network, robust intermodal transit system, and deep-water port infrastructure, North Carolina's unique set of strengths stand to accommodate all facets of the industry.”

Governor Roy Cooper said, “Ensuring that North Carolina is best positioned to take advantage of wind energy to create good new jobs and decrease carbon emissions is the right thing to do for our community and state and I appreciate the work of congressional leaders to make progress in this area.”

"Offshore wind presents an unparalleled economic opportunity to create well-paying jobs, invest in our region's ports and infrastructure, and expand upon the state's existing manufacturing strengths" said Katharine Kollins, President of the Southeastern Wind Coalition. "The Southeastern Wind Coalition deeply appreciates the leadership of Congressmembers Ross and Rouzer and other signatories in elevating the need for further leasing on the North Carolina coast - a critical step in realizing the benefits of this industry for the state." 

Heather Zichal, CEO of the American Clean Power Association (ACP) said, “North Carolina is set to continue its strong standing as a clean energy development and manufacturing hub. North Carolina is the #2 state in the U.S. for solar energy, has 25 manufacturing facilities for land-based wind, and now has the opportunity to lead in offshore wind manufacturing and deployment. According to the North Carolina Department of Commerce, offshore wind represents a $100 billion market opportunity that will leverage North Carolina’s manufacturing and infrastructure presence to create an offshore wind supply chain. ACP applauds this bipartisan coalition of North Carolina representatives advocating for more offshore wind jobs and economic output in their state.”

The letter was signed by Representatives Alma Adams (NC-12), David Price (NC-04), G.K. Butterfield (NC-01), Kathy Manning (NC-06), and Richard Hudson (NC-08).

The letter can be found here.