North Carolina could gain between 10,000 and 20,000 manufacturing jobs if the state moves ahead with offshore wind projects, according to a new report from the National Wildlife Federation.

The state has “great potential” for offshore wind power “due to excellence wind speeds and large areas of shallow water that can be developed,” the group said.

The organization used the report, which analyzed wind power potential off the Atlantic Coast, to call for faster permitting and development of projects from Maine to Florida.

Progress Energy, Duke Energy and the University of North Carolina have produced their own studies about wind power potential. The report also notes that UNC has already completed a feasibility study that was funded by the General Assembly.

One proposal, the Outer Banks Ocean Energy Project from Apex Wind Energy, would cover 216 square miles off the Outer Banks. It could produce 1,900 megawatts of power, which would be enough for 550,000 homes.

Of the more than 532 megawatts of potential offshore wind power off the Atlantic Coast, more than half – 298 megawatts – could be developed between North Carolina and New Jersey, the report noted.

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