Biden administration creates federal-state partnership for offshore wind development

Strong points

Forum includes 11 East Coast governors

The partnership provides support to vessels

The U.S. Department of Energy said June 23 that it will lead the development of a comprehensive offshore wind supply chain roadmap to help meet the Biden administration’s 30GW target of offshore wind power capacity by 2030 and 100% clean electricity by 2035.

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“By working together — the states and the federal government — we can blow the lid off our growing domestic offshore wind industry and get us there faster to our clean energy future,” said U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, in a statement.

“The new Federal-State Offshore Wind Implementation Partnership will help build a strong national offshore wind supply chain and a foundation to deliver an abundance of clean energy as well as more well-paying jobs. “, said Granholm.

Called the “first of its kind” by the DOE, the forum between 11 East Coast governors and Biden administration officials will help build a “robust U.S.-based supply chain for offshore wind, develop a skilled American workforce and accelerate work to resolve important regional issues,” the statement said.

States considered early leaders in offshore wind development include Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

Reaching the 30 GW target by 2030 could lead to annual investments of $12 billion in offshore wind projects, which could also lead to the construction of up to 10 factories to manufacture offshore wind turbine components and new vessels to install the turbines, the DOE said.

The Department of Energy estimates that reaching the 30 GW target would power more than 10 million homes and reduce 78 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.

Vessel support

The Biden administration designates offshore wind vessels as “vessels of national interest” to further facilitate offshore wind construction, according to a White House fact sheet.

Specifically, the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration said June 23 that the Vessels of National Interest designation will provide support through the Federal Vessel Funding Program, giving such applications priority for review and funding.

The program assists the domestic shipbuilding industry by providing support to U.S. shipyards to upgrade their facilities, build and upgrade ships, and to help U.S. shipowners cost-effectively obtain new domestically produced ships, said said the White House.

According to a National Renewable Energy Laboratory report released in late March, reaching 30 GW of offshore wind capacity will require at least:

  • 2,100 wind turbines and foundations
  • 6,800 miles of cable
  • Five to six wind turbine installation vessels
  • 10 feeder barges for transporting components
  • Four cable laying vessels
  • An average annual workforce of between 12,300 and 49,000 full-time equivalents

As a next step, Secretary Granholm announced a workshop in July for stakeholders, including state officials, to provide feedback on a roadmap to be released “later this year,” outlining the actions needed to meet supply chain needs.

In 2021, investors announced an additional $2.2 billion in funding, including commitments to develop nine major manufacturing facilities to produce foundations, towers, cables and blades for offshore wind turbines, the House said. White.

The administration estimates there is a $109 billion revenue opportunity in the offshore wind supply chain this decade, with governors of East Coast states laying much of the groundwork.

“Having already made commitments to procure nearly 40 GW of offshore wind power, these states provide a strong demand signal for clean energy that will reduce energy costs for American families while protecting them from spikes in fossil fuel prices. volatile,” the White House said in the fact sheet.

The federal-state partnership for the implementation of offshore wind will expand to include governors of the West Coast and Gulf of Mexico as offshore wind energy projects develop in these regions, said the White House.

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