• New report models impact of nine announced large-scale clean energy projects tracked by E2 in just the first year after the IRA was signed into law

  • During construction, projects will generate 24,600 jobs, $7.6 billion in new wages, add $10.2 billion to N.C.’s GDP

  • During operation, projects will generate 5,400 jobs, $380 million in wages, add $594 million to state GDP every year

CHAPEL HILL, N.C.  – As hundreds of clean energy business leaders converge in Chapel Hill for the University of North Carolina’s 10th annual Cleantech Summit, a new report finds large-scale clean energy projects announced in North Carolina in the first year of the federal Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) are projected to create or support at least 30,000 jobs and generate tens of billions of dollars in new wages, tax revenue, and economic growth.

The new economic analysis by BW Research released today by the national nonpartisan business group E2 modeled the direct, indirect, and induced economic benefits created by the nine clean energy and electric vehicle projects announced across North Carolina E2 tracked between August 2022-August 2023.

Companies behind these projects — ranging from EV and car charging equipment factories to lithium processing plants — have announced over 3,650 in direct jobs created by their projects and nearly $10 billion in direct investments for these factories and other facilities. But when indirect and induced impacts to other sectors of N.C.’s economy are included, the overall economic impacts are eight times as many jobs and includes billions added to N.C.’s gross domestic product (GDP) during construction and operation of these projects.

More specifically, the analysis found that these projects would:

  • Create or support 24,600 jobs during construction and 5,400 jobs every year once the projects are up and running;
  • Add $10.2 billion to North Carolina’s GDP during construction and $593.5 million annually to the state GDP over their operational lifetime; and
  • Generate $7.6 billion in wages for workers during construction and $380.4 million annually during operation; and
  • Generate $590 million in new state, and local tax revenues during the construction phase and $48 million annually during operation.

While the analysis only covers the nine projects announced in the first year of the IRA, at least nine more large-scale clean energy and clean vehicle projects have been announced since then, totaling more than $19 billion in private-sector investments, according to E2’s research. That makes North Carolina the No. 1 state for total investments announced for major clean energy projects since the IRA.

North Carolina Clean Economy Works: An Economic Impact Analysis of Major Clean Energy, Vehicle Projects is based on E2’s national economic impact analysis of clean energy projects announced in the first 12 months of the IRA. That report found that nationwide, 210 large-scale clean energy projects announced in the first year of the IRA would create or support more than 400,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs and add hundreds of billions of dollars in new wages to the nation’s economy.  While the construction industry and its supply chain will see the biggest benefits, other sectors ranging from healthcare and hospitality to retail trade and real estate will also benefit greatly.

The impacts of the IRA have positioned North Carolina as a key part of an unprecedented U.S. economic transition, according to the new book Clean Economy NOW: Stories from the Frontlines of an Economic Revolution. Author and E2 Executive Director Bob Keefe, who grew up in North Carolina, is releasing “Clean Economy NOW” at a speech at the Cleantech Summit. North Carolina is featured prominently throughout the book.

Keefe said:

“The clean economy is happening now, and North Carolina is at the center of it. Even if you don’t drive an electric vehicle or have solar panels on your roof, you’re probably benefiting from the game-changing clean energy projects now sprouting up across North Carolina made possible by the IRA.

“These factories are bringing record new investments and jobs into the Tar Heel state, but they’re also generating new revenues, jobs and business for other North Carolina companies, from construction companies and suppliers to retailers, restaurants and real estate firms.”

Among the companies at the forefront of this economic revolution is electric vehicle charging company Kempower Inc., which is building a $41 million, 600-employee factory in Durham.

Kempower Vice President of Markets and Products, North America Jed Routh said:

“When you’re investing in building a new project, you’re investing in far more than just the facility you’re building. You’re investing in the community. These investments boost business for local companies, create thousands of additional non-energy jobs, and generate hundreds of millions in new tax revenue put more teachers in schools, more cops on the beat, and more services for the community.”

According to the analysis, announced electric vehicle-related (EV) projects are poised to deliver the biggest economic benefits, creating or supporting 23,678 jobs and adding $1.9 billion to North Carolina’s GDP every year for five years during construction. Battery and energy storage projects were second with 303 jobs supported and $49 million added to the GDP every year during construction followed by projects in grid, transmission, and electrification with 588 jobs supported and $29 million added to the GDP every year.

Once the plants and facilities are up and running, EV-related projects are expected to create and support 5,208 direct and indirect jobs and generate $385 million in economic activity every year for the life of the projects.

About this Analysis

This analysis provides a thorough economic prediction of the impacts of the nine announcements by filling in the gaps of publicly announced information. Modeled impacts differ from initial estimates offered by companies announcing new projects, tracked by E2. One of the nine announcements provided no capital investment estimate and two provided no job creation estimate. Additionally, those estimates were inconsistently defined, lacking clarity on if they are direct jobs only or direct, indirect, and induced jobs, and if they were for construction or permanent positions.

For E2’s regularly updated list of clean energy project announcements in North Carolina and every other state, visithttps://e2.org/announcements.

Additional Resources

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E2 is a national, nonpartisan group of business leaders, investors, and professionals from every sector of the economy who advocate for smart policies that are good for the economy and good for the environment. Our members have founded or funded more than 2,500 companies, created more than 600,000 jobs, and manage more than $100 billion in venture and private equity capital. For more information, see www.e2.org or follow us on Twitter at @e2org.

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