Offshore Wind

New Report Says 'Historic Expansion' Coming for U.S. Offshore Wind

A new report from a business group that supports development of U.S. offshore wind projects details several factors that it says will contribute to a “historic expansion” of the technology over the next several years.

The Business Network for Offshore Wind’s inaugural “Offshore Wind Quarterly Market Report,” released Oct. 13, highlights how recent government actions to support the industry will impact growth. Those actions include the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which earmarked $369 billion in funding for clean energy initiatives, including billions in tax credits to support manufacturing of equipment used in offshore wind projects.

“Our inaugural quarterly report could not come at a more exciting time for offshore wind,” said Liz Burdock, president and CEO of the Business Network for Offshore Wind, in a news release Thursday. “With historic federal funding, new support for floating wind turbine technology, and increasingly ambitious state-level goals, the longstanding aspirations of the American offshore wind industry are poised to become reality.”

The report says that in addition to the IRA, the Biden administration’s Floating Offshore Wind Shot initiative, which includes a goal to deploy 15 GW of offshore wind generation capacity by 2035, will be critical for industry development. The report also notes new targets set by coastal states, including California, which announced a plan to deploy 25 GW of floating offshore wind generation by 2045. New Jersey has increased its target from 7.5 GW by 2035 to 11 GW by 2040.

“Despite this tremendous growth, the industry still must overcome challenges to upgrade our grid and transmission system, localize a robust supply chain, and train a skilled workforce,” said Burdock. “Capitalizing on this momentum requires continued coordinated action from our state and federal government to deploy a comprehensive national offshore wind industrial strategy that includes critical investments in our infrastructure, ports, and manufacturers.”

The group highlighted key takeaways from the report, including new federal investments from the IRA and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The group said government financial support, “combined with efforts to bring greater transparency to the federal permitting system, underpin the beginnings of a National Offshore Wind Industrial Strategy and put the United States in striking position to achieve its goal of deploying 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030.”

The report also noted government initiatives to reduce project construction costs by “at least 70%,” and provisions for more funding for research and development. It also looked at how East Coast states, including New Jersey and also Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island are developing projects.

Darrell Proctor is a senior associate editor for POWER (@POWERmagazine).

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