The winds at Kitty Hawk, NC, helped aviation and now energy.

Map of the offshore wind project off Kitty Hawk.

The Kitty Hawk Offshore Wind project is a more than 120,000-acre proposed offshore wind energy project. It is 27 miles off the Outer Banks. In the planning for years, the project has taken another step forward in recent filings.

“Construction on the first phase of the project is expected to begin in 2024. This phase will be able to generate about 800 megawatts, or MW, of electricity. When all phases are complete, Kitty Hawk Offshore Wind is expected to generate up to 2,500 MW, or enough to power 700,000 homes, about four times the number of households in Virginia Beach, with clean energy.” That according to one NC newspaper, Coastal Review.

American Wind Energy Association publication for the public

The project means jobs. “Construction is expected to create 800 jobs. Once operating, the wind farm will produce 193 full-time jobs in Virginia and North Carolina including turbine generator technicians, welders, and vessel managers, according to the report. Support companies and services could add nearly 800 more jobs,” says Pilotonline.

That is important – wind energy is more than energy, if it is done right. The director of the Southeast Wind Energy Association said in one news report that most of the components have to come from overseas, but as renewable energy gets more support, companies could build those industries along the East Coast. Long term, she says the wind power could grow to a $70 billion industry.

These concepts show the need to think about our energy future in more than megawatts. Think also about paychecks, manufacturing space, technology development, and economic development. Nimble and smart companies help make this kind of growth happen.

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Feature image – Library of Congress