Offshore wind (OSW) energy development is a key priority for North Carolina, and there are many opportunities opening up for North Carolina companies to serve this growing industry, from manufacturers to professional service firms to business suppliers of every type.
Explore and pursue OSW opportunities for your company using the information and available resources published here.
North Carolina enjoys an unprecedented opportunity to play an important role in the developing Offshore Wind Energy industry in the United States.
North Carolina's opportunity stars with its highly favorable natural environment. A long coastline, steady ocean winds, and large areas of relatively shallow water are factors that favor the development of offshore wind.
In 2010, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory released a report that found North Carolina had 297 GW (gigawatt) of offshore wind capacity at 90 meters above the ocean surface within 50 miles of the coast. Scientific studies indicate the state features the second-highest offshore wind net technical energy potential in the United States.
Business and Economic Development
The offshore wind industry is expected to create a $140 billion supply chain and tens of thousands of new jobs in the United States by 2035, according to a March 2021 study commissioned by the North Carolina Department of Commerce. The study's team of experts, led by industry consulting group BVG Associates, reported the global market for wind energy has grown on average by 24% each year since 2013, and estimated that 41 GW of cumulative installed capacity would be in place along the eastern seaboard by 2035.
The BVGA study also highlighted North Carolina's advantages as a manufacturing location, ranking first among east coast states and fifth in the nation in the value of its manufacturing sector's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The business opportunity for North Carolina companies and the state doesn't rest solely on the development of offshore wind farms directly off the state's coast, but rather flows from the opportunity to manufacture components and enter the supply chain for wind projects along the entire east coast of the United States.
There are a variety of resources to help you learn about the offshore wind industry and make the necessary preparations to successfully enter the industry's supply chain.
- Video | Energy 101: Wind Energy • U.S. Department of Energy
- Website | Wind Energy Basics • U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy
- Article | Top 10 Things You Didn't Know About Offshore Wind Energy • U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy
- Website | How Do Offshore Wind Turbines Work? • Orsted (a wind farm developer)
- Website | Do You Know How Offshore Wind Farms Work? • Iberdrola (a wind farm developer)
- Presentation Slides | Structure of Wind Supply Chain – Onshore to Offshore • Great Lakes Wind Network, via the Southeastern Wind Coalition
- Webinars | Offshore Wind 101 • Business Network for Offshore Wind
Manufacturers seeking to enter the offshore wind supply chain will find that holding an ISO-9001 certification can be helpful. The Industry Expansion Solutions (IES) team at North Carolina State University offers training and support to help your organization earn this credibility-building certification.
Research North Carolina companies currently in the offshore wind supply chain using our Supply Chain Map and Registry elsewhere on our website. You can also add your company to the registry on that page.
The North Carolina Department of Commerce, in partnership with the non-profit Southeastern Wind Coalition and in conjunction with the American Clean Power Association and the Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University publishes the supply chain map, to better connect companies and facilities in the state and region that currently supply or could supply products and services to the wind energy industry (both land-based and offshore).
Many organizations in both North Carolina and beyond offer information and resources that can support your company's entry and expansion into the offshore wind supply chain.
- Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina Existing Industry Team
The EDPNC, a non-profit group under contract to the North Carolina Department of Commerce, supports companies during site-selection and expansion projects. The Existing Industry team helps North Carolina-based companies pursue growth opportunities.
- The Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC)
SBTDC has helped North Carolina businesses grow and create new jobs since 1984. They provide management counseling and educational services to small and mid-sized businesses.
- North Carolina Small Business Center Network
The North Carolina Small Business Center Network offers a variety of programs, services and resources to help start and grow a business.
- Southeastern Wind Coalition
A non-profit advocacy and information clearinghouse that advances the wind industry in ways that result in net economic benefits to industry, utilities, ratepayers, and residents in the Southeast. A good source of data and expertise.
- U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
The federal government agency that manages the development of U.S. Outer Continental Shelf energy and mineral resources in an environmentally and economically responsible way. The Bureau leases offshore wind energy areas for use by wind energy developers.
- North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center
One of the premier clean energy centers of knowledge in the United States, this N.C. State University-based agency works closely with partners in government, industry, academia, and the non-profit community.
The State of North Carolina and the Department of Commerce has conducted several in-depth studies of the offshore wind industry and its potential, and has published assessments and reports about various aspects of the state's opportunity to serve and benefit from the industry as it grows in the United States. The state has also entered into agreements with the U.K. and Danish governments, and the states of Maryland and Virginia.
Reports and Materials
- Building North Carolina's Offshore Wind Supply Chain • BVG Associates, under commission from N.C. Commerce, March 2021
When published, this report's authors discussed their recommendations in a presentation and webinar, which are still available:
» Presentation slides » Webinar recording Enter password !NCosw3/30
- 2022-2023 Annual Report | Governor's Taskforce for Offshore Wind (NCTowers) • August, 2023
- Economic Impact Analysis for a N.C. Offshore Wind Project • N.C. Commerce, April 2021
- Clean Energy and Clean Transportation in North Carolina; A Workforce Assessment • N.C. Commerce, October 2019
- North Carolina Offshore Wind Development Facts and Fundamental Values • N.C. Commerce, May 2022
- Go With the Wind (Economic Development Brochure) • EDPNC, July 2021
- Memorandum of Understanding | North Carolina and the United Kingdom • July 2022
- Memorandum of Understanding | North Carolina and Denmark • March 2023
- Memorandum of Understanding | North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia (SMART-POWER) • October 2020
Governor Roy Cooper established a task force in June 2021 to provide expert advice for advancing offshore wind energy projects, economic development, and job creation. The group, known at the North Carolina Taskforce for Offshore Wind Economic Resource Strategies or NCTowers, meets regularly and publishes presentations, reports, and meeting notes and agendas elsewhere on our website.
Governor Cooper has also issued several Executive Orders to advance offshore wind and clean energy in general in North Carolina.
|EO80||North Carolina's Commitment to Address Climate Change and Transition to a Clean Energy Economy|
|EO218||Advancing North Carolina's Economic and Clean Energy Future with Offshore Wind||
|EO246||North Carolina's Transformation to a Clean, Equitable Economy||
This page was last modified on 08/11/2023