NWF State Actions Needed to Seize Golden Opportunity of Atlantic Offshore Wind Power

NWF: State Actions Needed to Seize Golden Opportunity of Atlantic Offshore Wind Power

Over 1.5 million acres off the Atlantic coast already designated for wind energy development could generate over 16,000 megawatts of electricity (MW), enough to power over five million homes, according to a new report from the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) released today with the support of over 40 cosponsoring organizations and leaders from business, labor, state, and local governments. 

NWF State Actions Needed to Seize Golden Opportunity of Atlantic Offshore Wind Power

Catching the Wind: State Actions Needed to Seize the Golden Opportunity of Atlantic Offshore Wind Power also contains a new analysis showing how the strong, consistent winds offshore can provide power to coastal states right when we need it most, bringing down energy costs and local pollution.

“American offshore wind power is finally within reach,” said Catherine Bowes, senior manager for climate and energy at the National Wildlife Federation. “With areas offshore that can power five million homes currently available for leasing, we’ve reached a critical moment for state leaders to seize this golden opportunity and create a clean energy future powered by American workers that can protect our wildlife and communities from the dangers of climate change.”

Catching the Wind highlights key progress made to date in America’s pursuit of offshore wind power, finding a strong correlation between proactive state efforts and tangible steps forward in advancing offshore wind power.

“With the Commonwealth’s support, New Bedford is now poised to play a central role in the nation’s burgeoning offshore wind energy industry,” said Mayor Jon Mitchell of New Bedford, Massachusetts. “Construction is underway on a first-of-its-kind $100 million port facility specially designed to support the staging and assembly of offshore wind turbines. Strong state commitments to offshore wind power are needed to maximize this tremendous opportunity to build a national industry and grow jobs not only for our city but across the region.”

“It’s time to launch an American offshore wind industry that can join the 58,000 people already working on offshore wind in Europe,” said Mayor Keith Summey of North Charleston, South Carolina. “The winds are right here ready to be harvested, the technology is already proven, and we have workers ready to do the job. Let’s get to work.”  

“The Utility Workers Union of America strongly supports an all of the above National Energy Policy, including the development of the offshore wind sector,” said Ed Good, Legislative Director of the Utility Workers Union of America. “From the iron ore mined to manufacture the steel foundations to the actual delivery of offshore wind power, this is a tremendous opportunity for working families, communities, and business job growth. UWUA currently has members with the necessary skill sets to safely and efficiently operate, maintain and provide energy delivery for this new and exciting form of generation and we look forward to playing a key role in the offshore wind market.”

“The winds off our coasts are poised to provide Atlantic Coast states with tremendous amounts of pollution-free energy that can meet our energy needs while reducing pollution that is altering our climate,” said Rob Sargent, energy program director for Environment America. “To reap the environmental and economic benefits of offshore wind, we need a strong commitment from state leaders, in partnership with the federal government and key stakeholders.” 

Press release, July 11, 2014; Image: DOI