UNC Charlotte and the CLEANcarolinas team lead community conversations on offshore wind energy
CLEANcarolinas, a National Science Foundation Developmental Innovation Engine awarded to UNC Charlotte’s EPIC and partners, together with the NC Department of Commerce and the NC Towers Task Force, co-hosted a series of outreach and planning events recently in Charlotte focused on offshore wind in the Carolinas. The events highlighted career opportunities, regional economic development and the role offshore wind will play in supporting the region’s decarbonization goals.
The series began on January 31 as UNC Charlotte-led CLEANcarolinas, the NC Department of Commerce and the NC Towers Task Force welcomed the Charlotte Engineering and Early College High School to an informational session to explore careers in offshore wind.
That evening, CLEANcarolinas hosted an evening reception at the Discovery Place Science Museum in Charlotte. With the theme “offshore wind isn’t just a coastal opportunity,” the event brought together a broad array of public and private sector professionals working to advance offshore wind deployment including welcoming remarks from NC Secretary of Commerce Machelle Baker Sanders.
On February 1, CLEANcarolinas hosted the NC TOWERS quarterly Task Force meeting at the Foundation for the Carolinas in Charlotte. The forum centered on convening critical stakeholders to discuss challenges to offshore wind deployment and the importance of creating a regional supply chain to drive economic development and job creation.
This series of events served to introduce a broad audience to CLEANcarolinas, including students, the community, industry and the public sector, with the focus on establishing the Carolinas as a hub for clean energy innovation, accelerating use-inspired research, and advancing groundbreaking technologies to drive regional economic development.
CLEANcarolinas serves as a development engine in the broader context of the NSF Regional Innovation Engines program. This passionate team is focused on establishing the Carolinas as a hub for clean energy innovation, accelerating use-inspired research, and advancing groundbreaking technologies. CLEANcarolinas is designed to support the economy and growth of the Carolinas through clean energy technology, including innovations in offshore wind, solar, clean hydrogen and marine energy, energy delivery, storage and integration with the grid. Through a blend of research and development, investment, education, and multi-stakeholder collaboration, CLEANcarolinas will achieve upward economic mobility through clean energy transformation with a focus on diversity, equity, inclusiveness and accessibility (DEIA) that will recognize community priorities for energy economic development.