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WILMINGTON, NC — With it looking likely that North Carolina will not get “Project Soccer” a major question for the state remains how do we produce more jobs? The answer to that question could be blowing in the wind. A public forum on offshore wind energy was held Wednesday night at UNCW.

Panelists from the forum say that developing wind energy off our coast that matches the output of a nuclear plant would create about 10,000 construction and manufacturing jobs and about 2,000 permanent operations jobs.

That is one of the reasons that states up and down the east coast are competing to attract the industry.

“States like New Jersey, Massachusetts, Delaware, all of these states are kind of out there saying we want to be the center of the world for offshore wind and frankly a lot of those states don’t have then natural advantages that North Carolina has,” said Brian O’Hara, President of the N.C. Offshore Wind Coalition.

Experts say that the state has the largest wind resource on the east coast to go along with the lowest construction costs.

“I think North Carolina is taking a lot of the right steps to do the right studies,” said Rob Propes, Development Manager of APEX Wind Energy. “They’re really taking a close and careful look at it.”

The crowd at UNCW’s Warwick Center went out the door to hear these experts talk about the technology and to ask questions about it.

Some of the issues with the turbines are that they could be an eyesore to our coast, what would be the effects of a hurricane on them, and their expensive costs.

“It’s going to be more expensive than that old technology but it’s certainly going to be more competitive with a brand new energy facility that will have to be built,” said Propes.

They also have a number of environmental advantages. They emit no harmful pollution, their foundations become artificial reefs and they require no water usage.

This domestic, clean energy is part of a long term effort that North Carolina is looking at.

“I think the chances are good if we get our house in order and can approach this very proactively,” said O’Hara.

Comment on this Story

  • Trondheimer

    There is no reason to suggest that this technology cannot be a major contributor to future energy needs, just look at European countries such as the UK, Denmark, and the Netherlands. All of these nations receive a significant amount of power from offshore wind and have plans to expand this capacity, as could be done here as well. Furthermore, the operation of offshore wind parks is much more complex than simple “maintenance” and would create many jobs. Additionally, if the offshore wind energy market expands beyond a single project, the engineering center for the US is likely to be located where the first project is actually installed, potentially providing a large number of well paying jobs for well educated people.

  • Robo

    The only new jobs involved are those used to install them. After that it is mainly a matter of maintenance. This technology will not be a major contributor to our energy needs in the future.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    The procurement, installation, and ongoing maintenance costs for these offshore wind farms will be astronomical – you know who’ll be picking up that tab.

  • Guest461

    They can’t keep the things rotating in Arizona with 5% “fresh water” humidity. Any idea what will happen with 98% “salt infused” humidity? I do. Keeping huge rotating components, gears and power generating dynamos operational in a raw salt water environment is a maintenance task that is currently unachievable. Looks good on paper, but that’s a far as it will go with current technology.
    The even worse part is, we will never be able to sustain a multi-billion dollar economy with dependence on windmills and solar panels. The energy needs are far too great.

  • Guest58774459

    The ocean is the perfect source next to solar energy. We need to be able to gather our own resources and keep from outsourcing. Wind energy does not pollute the air and is very safe for the environment-what other types besides wind and solar keep our environment safe for future generations?

  • Guest2132

    Where are the stats for this theory?

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    “Operations and maintenance (O&M) make up 25 percent of the cost of an offshore wind farm – almost as much as the wind turbines themselves, and about as much as construction and installation.”

    That’s from Renewable Energy World, an advocate for wind farms.

    Have you ever been in the navy, or worked in a maritime environment? Do you know what salt does to machinery and ferrous metals?

    This chart is on Wikipedia, but comes directly from the DOE. Look at the system cost of offshore wind.


  • ret@aol.com

    Where is the proof that is is a true fact?

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    Watch this video and then think of the number of birds that migrate on the Atlantic Flyway. Don’t forget, many migrate at night.



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