US Offshore Wind Pipeline Tops 35 GW

The US offshore wind pipeline grew 24 per cent over the previous year, with 35,324 MW now in various stages of development, according to the US Department of Energy (DOE).

A little over 6.8 GW of new capacity was added to the pipeline throughout 2020, according to the 2021 edition of the Offshore Wind Market Report, prepared by DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

The increase was driven by falling offshore wind prices, federal action, and state-level commitments, the report states.

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A large portion of the 2020-2021 growth came through the creation of five new wind energy areas in the New York Bight by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). The five new areas have a total capacity of 9.8 GW.

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15 projects in the US offshore pipeline have reached the permitting phase, and eight states have set offshore wind energy procurement goals for a total of 39,298 MW by 2040, the report says.

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Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Virginia all increased offshore wind procurement targets in 2020 and early 2021. In total, state goals grew by 15,600 MW, from about 24,000 MW by 2035 in 2019 to 39,298 MW by 2040.

The pipeline also includes the country’s two operating offshore wind farms: the 30 MW Block Island Wind Farm and the 12 MW Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) pilot project.

During the period covered by the report, the 800 MW Vineyard Wind I wind farm offshore Massachusetts became the first approved commercial-scale offshore wind energy project in the United States.

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Photo: Dominion Energy/Illustration