Murray Fisher, Chief Engineer, at Gulf Wind Technology spoke on a panel at the NC TOWERS Taskforce Meeting in Charlotte on Thursday, 1 February, where he joined other representatives from offshore wind companies in the state to discuss the role they currently play in the states growing industry. Murray shared the GWT vision that blade production needs to evolve significantly, particularly by demonstrating the advanced manufacturing technology methods that allow for blade and subcomponent manufacture at any location in the state.
The current paradigm in offshore wind is that this is a “coastal economy”. But it doesn’t have to be an economic boon to our coastal counties alone. Our vision is to build a production system that allows us to manufacture components in Catawba County, or in Mecklenburg County, or any other county in the state or country. We see a vision where component parts are produced across the state, and then brought together for final assembly at a facility on the coast.
NC Towers, the North Carolina Taskforce for Offshore Wind Economic Resource Strategies, provides expert advice to Governor Cooper and state policymakers on ways to advance offshore wind energy projects in North Carolina, with a special focus on economic development and job creation.
The Taskforce, established by Governor Cooper with Executive Order 218 in June 2021, works to identify economic and workforce opportunities and challenges in the offshore wind industry, recommend policies and programs for fostering a thriving offshore wind workforce and business community, provide advice for developing the state’s offshore wind supply chain, workforce, and infrastructure, foster and support environmental justice and equitable access to opportunities for underserved communities, and recommend policies and guidelines prioritizing offshore wind energy projects.
Governor Cooper established the Taskforce in June 2021 with his Executive Order 218, Advancing North Carolina’s Economic and Clean Energy Future with Offshore Wind.