Va., Md., N.C. governors sign offshore wind collaboration
New group will promote region as a hub for renewable wind-based energy
The governors of Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina on Thursday announced a three-state collaboration to advance offshore wind projects — the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Regional Transformative Partnership for Offshore Wind Energy Resources.
SMART-POWER will work to promote the Southeast and mid-Atlantic regions as a hub for offshore wind energy and industry. The three states will work together to promote, develop and expand offshore wind energy as well as industry supply chains and workforce.
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the Atlantic Coast offshore wind project pipeline will support up to 86,000 jobs, $57 billion in investments and provide up to $25 billion in economic output by 2030.
“Harnessing the power of offshore wind is key to meeting the urgency of the climate crisis and achieving 100% clean energy by 2050,” Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said in a statement. “Virginia is well-positioned to scale up offshore wind development with a 12-megawatt wind demonstration project already built off our coast. This agreement will help unlock our collective offshore wind resources and generate tremendous economic and environmental benefits for the region. We look forward to working with our partners in Maryland and North Carolina to grow the offshore wind industry and secure a cleaner, healthier, and more resilient future.”
Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina will form a leadership team composed of representatives from each signatory jurisdiction who will work to streamline regional offshore wind resource development.
“This bipartisan agreement with neighboring states allows us to leverage our combined economic power and ideas to achieve cost effective success,” North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said in a statement.
Under the SMART-POWER agreement, the three states will work to increase regulatory certainty, encourage manufacturing of component costs, reduce costs via supply chain development, share best practices and develop relationship between industry and and the signatory jurisdictions.
“Joining this multistate partnership to expand offshore wind development will further our strong record of supporting responsible energy projects that provide jobs, clean air benefits, and energy independence,” Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said in a statement.
Virginia is emerging as a leader in offshore wind technology, with the $300 million, two-turbine Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) pilot project launched this summer by Dominion Energy Inc., 27 miles off Virginia Beach. In October, the company announced it had successfully completed reliability testing. The pilot is just the first stage in Dominion’s plan to build the largest offshore wind farm in the nation, with 180 to 190 turbines planned to be erected in federal waters off Virginia’s coast by 2026. When complete, the $7.8 billion project is expected to generate 2,600 megawatts of zero-carbon electricity, enough to power 650,000 homes during peak winds.