Wind turbine off the U.K. coast. (Photo by phault via Flickr.)
Wind turbine off the U.K. coast. (Photo by phault via Flickr.)

INSTITUTE INDEX: Is the South's energy future blowing in the offshore wind?

Wind turbine off the U.K. coast. (Photo by phault via Flickr.)
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Date on which the U.S. Interior Department announced it would open areas off the North Carolina coast for building commercial wind farms: 12/12/12

Number of square miles the federal government wants to make available for offshore wind development near state's northern Outer Banks and Cape Fear: 1,900

Rank of North Carolina among states with the best offshore wind resources on the Atlantic Coast: 1

Number of states where the federal Department of Energy announced this week that it would fund offshore wind demonstration projects in an effort to drive down the technology's cost: 7*

As part of that funding, amount Dominion is getting to build two experimental wind turbines off the Virginia coast: $4 million

Number of Atlantic Coast states that have task forces working to coordinate the offshore wind power leasing process: 10**

Estimated potential generating capacity of U.S. offshore wind along the coasts and the Great Lakes, in megawatts: 4 million

Number of times by which that exceeds the combined generating capacity of all U.S. electric power plants: 4

Number of commercial wind turbines that have been placed off the Atlantic Coast to date: 0

Date on which the federal production tax credit for wind energy is set to expire: 12/31/2012

Year in which the tax credit was created: 1992

Number of times the credit has been allowed to lapse since then, only to be revived by short-term extensions: 3

Over the past five years, average amount of private investment in wind power generation the tax credit has incentivized: $15.5 billion

Number of jobs that could be lost in North Carolina as a result of the tax credit ending: 1,000

Number of jobs that could be lost nationally: 37,000

As a result of the looming expiration, percent that orders are already down at PPG Industries in Shelby, N.C., a company that makes glass fiber used in wind-turbine blades: 30

Number of workers the company has temporarily laid off: 20-30

Estimated number of jobs that could be created nationwide by a robust U.S. offshore wind industry: 300,000

Date by which Congress needs to act in order to meet paperwork deadlines to keep the tax credit from expiring: 12/18/2012

* Texas, New Jersey, Ohio, Washington, Connecticut and Virginia

** Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina

(Click on figure to go to source.)

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