An offshore wind farm. Several North Carolina organizations are looking at the benefits of offshore wind Photo: File

A new coalition of organizations that work to protect North Carolina’s environment is turning its attention to offshore wind.

The Offshore Wind for North Carolina coalition, or OSW4NC, aims to advance offshore wind in North Carolina, Southeastern Wind Coalition announced Tuesday.

The coalition intends to engage residents, businesses, and state and federal leaders to encourage the opportunities that offshore wind presents, “and urge state and federal governments to move forward with policies necessary to reap the full suite of benefits of its offshore wind potential,” officials said. “This includes removing market barriers to offshore wind power, evaluating future wind energy areas off North Carolina’s coast, and ensuring offshore wind is developed in an environmentally responsible manner.”

Founding organizations include Audubon North Carolina, the Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy, the Environmental Defense Fund, Environmental Entrepreneurs, the North Carolina Coastal Federation, the North Carolina Conservation Network, the North Carolina League of Conservation Voters, the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association, Sierra Club North Carolina and the Southeastern Wind Coalition.

OSW4NC supports the offshore wind targets Gov. Roy Cooper established through Executive Order 218, including offshore wind energy targets of 2.8-gigawatts by 2030 and 8.0-gigawatts by 2040. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates North Carolina has the highest technical potential for offshore wind generation among Atlantic coast states, officials with Southeastern Wind Coalition said.

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