North Carolina joins effort to establish regional fisheries mitigation for offshore wind development

North Carolina joins effort to establish regional fisheries mitigation for offshore wind development

Today, Governor Roy Cooper announced that North Carolina has joined other Atlantic Coast states involved with the Special Initiative on Offshore Wind on a coordinated project to support fisheries mitigation in the development of offshore wind along the East Coast.

“It is important that we work to meet our state’s offshore wind energy goals while still protecting our marine fishery industry,” said Governor Cooper. “We are committed to collaborating with other states in this effort to make sure we achieve both goals.”

North Carolina is working with Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia and Delaware.

Currently, the Initiative is focused on establishing a framework to compensate commercial and for-hire fishermen in the event of economic impact related to offshore wind development. The goal is to develop a regional approach for administration of any financial compensation paid by developers. Economic impacts from coastal fishing in North Carolina top $4.5 billion annually.

Together, the states plan to develop consistent, fair and transparent compensatory mitigation procedures and through the non-profit Initiative, establish a regional fund administrator for fisheries compensatory mitigation.

Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Order 218 sets a target of 2.8 GW of offshore wind energy resources off the North Carolina coast by 2030 and 8.0 GW by 2040.

The Special Initiative on Offshore Wind, which has been coordinating input into the process, has included multiple stakeholders such as the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance on behalf of the commercial fishing industry, offshore wind developers through American Clean Power, the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and legal experts specializing in the development and administration of mitigation funds.

Earlier this year, the states collected input and released a final scoping document on April 13.