James Madison University

Southeast JEDI Study

Regional Overview

The Southeastern coastal states – Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, has significant potential to become a leader in offshore wind energy. The Southeast region enjoys several unique advantages to accommodate long-term and large-scale offshore wind development.

  • Long coastlines and a gently sloping continental shelf means that despite lower average wind speeds, this region represents 45% of the total East Coast resource, and 82% of the wind resource in shallow waters and more than 12 miles away. Southeast Total MW Deplyed
  • The Southeastern states represent some of the largest electricity markets on the East Coast, high per-capita consumption and some of the fastest growing populations, which points to high electricity demand growth rates.
  • Below average electricity rates and lowest construction costs on the East Coast should attract developers and industries to locate facilities in the region.
  • Home to some of the largest and industrious ports and logistics infrastructure in the United States
    • Norfolk Harvor (VA)
    • Newport News (VA)
    • Morehead City (NC)
    • Wilmington (NC)
    • Charleston (SC)
    • Savannah (GA)
  • Southeast Graph 2
    Despite no large-scale wind, estimates that up to 11% of the total workforce in the land-based wind industry is located in the Southeast.

Scenario Development

Southeast Graph 2

For each of the three variables in JEDI – Market and Deployment, Regional Investment, and Cost three different ‘paths’ for how these variables change over time were built. You can view the three paths, ‘Low’, ‘Medium’, and ‘High’ in the three line graphs on the left.

These three paths were used to create three distinct scenarios that represent conservative, moderate and aggressive growth paths for the industry in the region.

Results and Conclusions

An offshore wind industry in the Southeast region would support thousands of jobs in fabrication and construction as shown in the three area graphs below. The scenarios with more turbines being deployed and more regional spending yielded higher economic impacts in the region. For more details on the results, which include the impacts during operation and maintenance, earnings and output, you can download the full report. Also read the Wind Systems Magazine article for more information.

Southeast Graph 2 Southeast Graph 2

The Southeast has the capacity to become a long-term leader in offshore wind energy, with ample resources for the industry to thrive. A very good shallow wind resource, low manufacturing costs, manufacturing expertise and access to some of the largest and most industrious ports on the East Coast are all attractive features that the region offers to the industry.

Southeast Graph 2

As expected, the conservative scenario shoulgd support the lowest amount of economic activity while the aggressive scenario would support the most jobs and economic activity, but depends on rapid supply chain development. The moderate scenario is the most balanced approach of the three scenarios and projects to support steady growth and increase in economic activity.