Offshore Wind Development

Wind turbine over water

Jurisdiction

The State of North Carolina works with federal agency partners to responsibly identify offshore wind opportunities for North Carolina’s outer continental shelf. The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has jurisdiction beginning three nautical miles from shore and seaward. 

Coastal wind energy-related activities occurring within three nautical miles of shore are subject to North Carolina’s jurisdiction.  A number of federal activities must undergo Federal Consistency Review by the Division of Coastal Management (DCM). 

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management 

EO 218

On June 9, 2021, Governor issued Executive Order No. 218 highlighting North Carolina’s commitment to offshore wind power as the state transitions to a clean energy economy. The Executive Order highlights the economic and environmental benefits of offshore wind and directs actions to help North Carolina secure the jobs and economic development associated with the industry’s estimated $140 billion investment over the next 15 years to develop projects from North Carolina up the Atlantic Coast.

  • Sets offshore wind development targets for North Carolina of 2.8 gigawatts (GW) by 2030 and 8.0 GW by 2040
  • Establishes the NC Taskforce for Offshore Wind Economic Resource Strategies (NC TOWERS) to provide expert advice for advancing North Carolina offshore wind energy projects, economic development, and job creation.
  • Directs the Departments of Commerce, Military and Veterans Affairs and Environmental Quality to designate offshore wind leads.

NC Department of Commerce: Offshore Wind Industry 

Information on Onshore Wind Projects is available here

Projects Off North Carolina's Coast

Kitty Hawk Offshore Wind Project

Kitty Hawk Offshore Wind Project

Map of Kitty Hawk offshore area

Located 27 miles from Corolla, Avangrid Renewables’ Kitty Hawk Offshore project is underway.  BOEM will conduct all necessary environmental and technical assessments and consultations and will decide whether to approve, approve with modifications, or disapprove the Plan.

BOEM Project Updates

Wilmington Wind Energy Areas

Wilmington Wind Energy Areas

Map of Wilmington Wind Energy Areas

Two additional proposed Wind Energy Areas (WEAs) are located off the North Carolina Coast, known as Wilmington East WEA and Wilmington West WEA.

On July 21, 2021, BOEM convened a meeting of the Carolina Long Bay Task Force to discuss the past and present of Carolina Long Bay offshore wind development and the approach for possible lease sale with federal, tribal, state, and local government officials

BOEM and the cooperating agencies are evaluating new information including new studies, newly listed species, and the designation of the North Atlantic Right Whale Critical Habitat to determine the adequacy of the previous EA and whether BOEM may need to supplement with additional analyses.

On July 7, 2021, NCDEQ hosted an informational meeting for interested stakeholders about the BOEM offshore wind leasing process and the role of the BOEM Renewable Energy Task Force in this work.  The slide deck and recording of the informational meeting are available here:

Information Briefing & Discussion Slide Deck 

NC Offshore Wind - Task Force Info Briefing Recording

 

Consistency Determination

Consistency Determination

North Carolina’s Coastal Management Program is federally approved; therefore a number of federal activities must undergo consistency review by the Division of Coastal Management (DCM).

This authority exists under the federal Coastal Zone Management Act. The Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) was enacted by the federal government on Oct. 27, 1972, to encourage coastal states, such as North Carolina, to develop comprehensive programs to manage and balance competing uses of and impacts to coastal resources.  Consistency review by DCM applies to any federal action that is within the state’s twenty coastal counties that may have a reasonable foreseeable effect on any coastal resource or any coastal use within the state’s coastal zone (even if the activity occurs outside of the coastal zone), if the activity:

  • is a federal activity;
  • requires a federal license or permit;
  • receives federal money; or
  • is a plan for exploration, development or production from any area leased under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.

Such projects must comply with the key elements of North Carolina's Coastal Management Program, which include:

§ 113A-119.2. (a) and (b) and related subsections

    • Section .0400 – COASTAL ENERGY POLICIES
      • 15A NCAC 07M .0401 DECLARATION OF GENERAL POLICY
      • 15A NCAC 07M .0402 DEFINITIONS
      • 15A NCAC 07M .0403 POLICY STATEMENTS
  • regulations passed by the Coastal Resources Commission (CRC);
  • local land-use plans certified by the CRC; and
  • a network of other state agencies’ laws and regulations.

The purpose of a consistency determination is to assure that federal projects, federal funded projects, and private projects that require federal approval are consistent with the relevant enforceable policies of the state’s certified coastal management program.

 

Contact Information

Contact Information

For additional information, contact Jennifer Mundt, NCDEQ’s Offshore Wind Coordinator: (919) 707-8406