- Under Development: A section of the 2009 General Appropriation Act authorized the construction of up to three demonstration offshore wind turbines in the Coastal Wind study area, with renewable energy certificates allocated between the University of North Carolina and a contracted third party developer (Duke Energy)— the project has since stalled. Apex Wind Energy filed in 2010 a request for commercial lease to 24 Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) lease blocks, encompassing 213.5 square miles (136,640 acres).
Policy, Planning, & Regulations
- Energy Demand/Incentives: The North Carolina renewable energy and energy efficiency portfolio standard (REPS) requires all investor-owned utilities in the state to supply 12.5% of 2020 retail electricity sales from renewable energy and energy efficiency resources by 2021.
- Energy & Climate Change Planning: Full adoption and implementation of the 2008 North Carolina Climate Action Plan Advisory Group’s recommended mitigation options would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 47%, to within 1% of 1990 levels.
- Production Goal: The proposed Offshore Wind Jobs and Economic Development Act (first introduced in 2011) would require the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) to issue a request for proposal (RFP) for development of up to 2,500 MW of offshore wind energy over 7-10 years, and would establish a non-binding state goal of 5,000 MW by 2030.
- Siting, Leasing, & Permitting: The 2009 Coastal Wind study, conducted by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill at the request of the North Carolina legislature, concluded that Raleigh and Onslow Bay was the most promising location for offshore wind energy.
- Siting, Leasing, & Permitting: The 2011 Report of the Governor’s Scientific Advisory Panel on Offshore Energy found that substantial areas of at least 506 federal lease blocks of commercially attractive wind capacity with minimal use conflicts, sufficient enough to generate up to 20,000 MW annually.
- Regional Ocean Management Planning: North Carolina is a member of the Governors’ South Atlantic Alliance (GSAA).
- Regional Electricity Transmission Planning: North Carolina’s electricity transmission planning is coordinated by the North Carolina Transmission Planning Collaborative (NCTPC). Constituent entities are members of the Southeastern Reliability Corporation (SERC).
Supporting & Complementary Assets/Infrastructure
- Transmission & Grid Interconnection: The North Carolina Transmission Planning Collaborative's (NCTPC) 2010-2020 Transmission Plan estimated that integrating 3,000 MW of offshore wind into the service territories of Duke Energy and Progress Energy would cost between $0.5-$1.3 billion (four options presented). The Collaborative's 2011-2021 Transmission Plan found similar cost ranges in injecting 5,000 MW (off-peak) and 2,050 MW (on-peak).
- Supply Chain: The North Carolina Commission on Workforce Development cited offshore wind as an emerging opportunity for coastal areas of the state in its State of the North Carolina Workforce 2011-2020 report.
- Supply Chain: The 2012 North Carolina Maritime Strategy envisions the offshore wind market as a future expansion of existing roll on/roll off and oversize cargo capabilities at the Ports of Morehead City and Wilmington.
- Population: 9.9 million (3.1% of US, 2014)¹
- Population change (2010-2014): 4.3%²
- Civilian labor force: 4.8 million (3.0% of US, 2015)¹
- Median hourly wage (all occupations): $15.63 (2014)³
- State corporate income tax rate: 5.0% (2014)⁴
- Per capita personal income: $38,547 (40th in US, 2013)¹
- Residential electricity prices: 11.11 cents/kWh (2015)¹
- Commercial electricity prices: 8.69 cents/kWh (2015)¹
- Industrial electricity prices: 6.57 cents/kWh (2015)¹
- Total energy production: 607 trillion Btu (0.7% of US, 2013)¹
- Net electricity generation: 12,839 thousand MWh (3.5% of US, 2015)¹
- Total energy consumption per capita: 256 million Btu (38th in US, 2013)¹
- Carbon dioxide emissions: 56,940 thousand metric tons (2.6% of US, 2013)¹
- Sulfur dioxide emissions: 65 thousand metric tons (2.4% of US, 2013)¹
- Nitrogen dioxide emissions: 57 thousand metric tons (2.3% of US, 2013)¹
- Total estimated technical offshore wind potential generation: 1,269,627 GWh (7.5% of US, 2012)⁵
References: U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA)¹; U.S. Census Bureau²; U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)³; Tax Foundation⁴; and, U.S. Department of Energy, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)⁵