As the harnessing of offshore energy inches forward in North Carolina, some of the key players will discuss their plans and progress in a day-long Coastal Energy Summit in Wilmington on Thursday.
Big-name speakers will include Gov. Pat McCrory, who has embraced wind farms and oil drilling in the Atlantic Ocean, and Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute, the national big oil lobby.
Speakers will also represent Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas and GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy on the traditional energy side, and Strata Solar, Iberdrola Renewables and the Southeastern Coastal Wind Coalition from the clean-tech sector.
Federal agencies are laying the groundwork for offshore drilling and offshore wind farms, but energy exploration is still years away. On the wind side, the feds are still paring down offshore areas suitable for 460-foot tall wind turbines before accepting developers’ bids to lease federal ocean waters.
On the drilling side, nine applicants have expressed interest in conducting seismic airgun tests to help locate oil and gas reserves in the Atlantic Ocean. The applicants, all based in Houston, have submitted plans to blast compressed air between six months and one year to map the ocean’s energy reserves.
The Oct. 9 summit runs from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Wilmington Convention Center, 515 Nutt St. The attendance fee is $90 for the entire summit, $35 for the breakfast keynote presentation by API’s Gerard, and $45 for the lunch keynote presentation by Gov. McCrory.
To register, go to: CoastalEnergySummit.com.